Seoul is now home to a new taxi fleet of ten LPG-electric hybrids. The cars were converted gasoline-engined vehicles and are being used by five taxi companies in the city. The liquified gas is used in a 1,600cc direct injection engine and the powertrain also uses a 15 kW electric motor that can capture brake energy. The cars also have stop-start technology, which is pretty useful for taxis.

The Ministry of Environment of Korea, Korea National Joint Conference of Taxi Association, Hyundai-Kia Motors and Korea LPG Association all partnered on the project. Hyundai has been talking about LPG-hybrid sedans since at least 2007, when it announced it would develop the powertrain for the Avante (known as the Elantra in the U.S.).

[Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government]

PRESS RELEASE:

Eco-Friendly Hybrid Taxi Introduced in Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The Seoul Metropolitan Government started the test-run of eco-friendly taxis from December 3, to transform current gas taxis into hybrid ones that will contribute to improvement of air quality of the city. To do so, the city government concluded an agreement on preliminary introduction of hybrid taxis with the Ministry of Environment of Korea, Korea National Joint Conference of Taxi Association, Hyundai-Kia Motors and Korea LPG Association on December 1.

They have agreed that improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gases in the city are urgent issues. Accordingly, they have decided to join hands to support the distribution of hybrid taxis. The Korea National Joint Conference of Taxi Association will select participating taxi companies and support the monitoring of its operation. Hyundai-Kia Motors will do its role as an automobile manufacturer by monitoring and developing technologies, including analysis of vehicle components durability. Korea LPG Association will support supply of fuel for the taxis, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Ministry of Environment will provide administrative supports.

Newly introduced hybrid taxi is LPI hybrid vehicle powered by Liquefied Petroleum Injection engine that was first developed in Korea. A total of ten taxis are running in the city by five taxi companies in Seoul, selected by the Korea National Joint Conference of Taxi Association.

The LPI hybrid taxis distributed in Seoul use LP gas as fuel and adopted liquefied petroleum direct injection engine to enhance 1,600cc engine power. The vehicle is also installed with 15kw electric motor as auxiliary power unit to generate electricity for charging the battery by recovering the motor with braking energy that is usually lost at down hills. The hybrid taxi also stops the idling by shutting down the engine when the car is not running to prevent fuel consumption from unnecessary engine idling. The vehicle is expected to be especially effective for the taxi fleet as taxis spend most of the time waiting with their engine on.

According to a city official, hybrid taxi is highly environmentally friendly as one hybrid taxi is expected to reduce more than six tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and halve air pollutant emissions such as nitrogen oxides. The preliminary introduction will gain its full swing from next year
.


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