The bill, proposed by Rep. Yoon Han-hong of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and calling for the complete deregulation of LPG vehicles, passed during the plenary session of the National Assembly’s industry committee.
Yoon proposed the bill in 2016, citing a growing need to expand consumer choices, supply more cars that pollute less, and promote technology development in the area of vehicle fuel systems.
The deregulation step is also expected to prompt local automakers to launch additional LPG vehicles.
Renault Samsung plans to launch the LPG-fueled QM6, a midsize sport utility vehicle, in the first half of this year. Hyundai Motor plans to introduce more fuel-efficient LPG versions of its new Sonata models. Kia Motors, is currently producing three lightweight vehicles that use LPG fuel: the Picanto, K5 and K7. Last year, SsangYong Motor secured the technology it needed to install a separate LPG fuel system on its gasoline-fueled Tivoli model.
The number of LPG vehicles is expected to rise to 2.8 million by 2030, from 2 million last year. This could lower the volume of nitrogen oxide in the air -- a major cause of fine dust -- by as much as 7,363 tons by 2030, according to the Industry Ministry.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org)