November 09, 2018 11:22
The government will scrap its decade-old "clean diesel" policy after realizing that there is no such thing and scrap all incentives in a bid to get diesel cars off the roads and combat air pollution.
The incentives have included cuts in parking fees and toll surcharges and have benefited some 950,000 diesel vehicles certified as low-emission. They will be scrapped early next year.
The Environment Ministry announced a set of measures to curb air pollution at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Thursday.
"Diesel and gasoline vehicles are worst culprits in fine particle pollution in the Seoul metropolitan area," said Yoo Je-chul at the ministry. "And diesel cars emit over nine times more fine particles than gasoline vehicles."
All diesel vehicles in the public sector are to be retired by 2030, except where no substitutes exist. It will increase the proportion of eco-friendly cars from the current 50 percent to 100 percent by 2020 when it buys new cars.
Small businesses will be given another W4 million in subsidies on top of the W1.65 million they are already entitled to when they replace their superannuated diesel trucks with 1-ton LPG trucks.
Diesel cars are popular because of their lower prices and cheaper fuel.
Meanwhile, during smog emergencies all cars will be put on a rotation of odd and even number plates on alternate days from February.
It will be up to local governments to create new regulations to enforce the rotation for private vehicles, because a special bill currently awaiting passage does not cover mandatory rotation but only stipulates that municipalities "can" restrict cars under their own steam.
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