South Korea will develop an electric truck that can load up to 1 ton of cargos and run 250 kilometers on single charge by 2019. Nine key components needed for developing a self-driving vehicle will be localized by 2021 under a government roadmap on future mobility.
According to the outline released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy during a public hearing in Seoul on Tuesday, the government will join forces with small and medium auto part suppliers to develop a 1-ton electric truck that can drive 250 kilometers or more before needing to recharge. Currently, a 0.5-ton electric vehicle modified as a truck is available in Korea but there is no heavier-duty one on the road.
The ministry will also launch a project to more than double battery energy density to extend a driving range of an electric vehicle significantly. To do this, four core materials will be developed by 2020. It will also improve EV charging infrastructure to cover a distance of up to 200 kilometers on one-time charging.
On top of these, the ministry aims to localize nine key components in self-driving technologies by 2021. Those include radar, image sensor module, data storage, communication module, precision digital map and self-driving control unit, of which Korean manufacturers heavily rely on imports.
A pilot bus powered by hydrogen will run around the time of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics due in February.
The ministry also said it is working on technology development related to hydrogen storage and other key components to lower the price of hydrogen vehicles. It plans to release a hydrogen bus for urban driving that can run 300 kilometers or more on one charge by 2019.
By Seok Min-soo and Minu Kim
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