The government of South Korea is planning a significant expansion of the infrastructure for battery and hydrogen vehicles. By the end of this year there should be over 1,000 charging stations and 43 hydrogen stations by the end of 2022.
According to the South Korean Ministry of Transport, the number of charging stations at motorway service stations wll increase from 435 at the end of 2020 to over 730 by the end of 2021. Furthermore they are planning to expand to over 1,000 by the end of next year. In addition, the number of twelve hydrogen filling stations currently in operation on motorways is to be increased to 43 in 2022 and to at least 52 in 2023.
According to a translation of the Korean government press release, the infrastructure program is a cooperation between the Korean Ministry for Transport and the Korea Expressway Corporation. The two partners want to address an exponentially growing need for charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles.
According to the Korean government, in 2014 battery-electric vehicles totalled only 2,775, but in 2017, this grew to 25,108 and by 2020 to 134,962. The number of battery electric vehicles continued to rise, and in October this year numbered 211,10 677 battery-electric vehicles. The number of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles has also grown exponentially from none in 2014 to 170 in 2017, to 10,906 in 2020 and, at the latest count from October this year, numbered 18,068 fuel cell electric vehicles.
The Korea Expressway Corporation is gradually increasing the amount of power produced through new and renewable energy generation along highways, and is gradually pursuing the implementation of an ‘energy-independent highway.’
The Korean Ministry for Transport says that currently there is 104 MW of highway solar power facilities in operation, and 76 MW of power generation facilities will be added by 2023 through the ‘Highway Solar Power Project Competition.