Seoul — In efforts in part to promote the use of emmission-free vehilces on South Korean roads, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has proposed to replace police buses mostly parked near the U.S. embassy and key government buildings in central Seoul with hydrogen-powered buses.
About a dozen diesel-power buses carrying riot police and their equipment are usually parked on the Gwanghwamun road in central Seoul to guard the U.S. embassy, government buildings and the presidential Blue House. Police let their bus engines idle around the clock, emitting exhaust gas.
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said, “As one of the measures to boost demand for hydrogen vehicles in Korea, I publicly propose that we begin to replace police buses that mostly sit idly at Gwanghwamun with hydrogen buses,”
“Like other countries, we must become more active in engaging eco-friendly vehicles. We have world-class technologies in the hydrogen vehicle and fuel cell fields,” Lee said.
Advantages of hydrogen fuel cells:
- By converting chemical potential energy directly into electrical energy, fuel cells avoid the “thermal bottleneck” (a consequence of the 2nd law of thermodynamics) and are thus inherently more efficient than combustion engines, which must first convert chemical potential energy into heat, and then mechanical work.
- Direct emissions from a fuel cell vehicle are just water and a little heat. This is a huge improvement over the internal combustion engine’s litany of greenhouse gases.
- Fuel cells have no moving parts. They are thus much more reliable than traditional engines.
- Hydrogen can be produced in an environmentally friendly manner, while oil extraction and refining is very damaging.