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Korea launches ‘carbon agency’ to spur flying car development

A mock-up of Hanwha Systems’ urban air mobility Butterfly (Kim Byung-wook/The Korea Herald)
A mock-up of Hanwha Systems’ urban air mobility Butterfly (Kim Byung-wook/The Korea Herald)
South Korea on Wednesday launched a new regulatory agency dedicated to accelerating the utilization of carbon materials in five core industries, including future mobility.

The Korea Carbon Industry Promotion Agency, which will be overseen by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, aims to provide regulatory support for the carbon industry and spearhead economic feasibility tests of carbon materials to accelerate their commercialization in the market.

The government appointed Bang Yun-hyuk as its inaugural chief. Bang, a Pusan National University graduate in textile engineering, was formerly the head of the Korean Institute of Carbon Convergence Technology, a government-funded research institute for carbon fiber materials.

“Carbon materials, which demonstrate extremely light weight, high durability and high conductivity, are new materials that can overcome the limits of existing materials. For example, six strands for carbon fiber can lift up a passenger car,” an industry ministry official said.

After the opening ceremony attended by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun and Vice Industry Minister Park Jin-kyu, the agency announced that it would focus on development of personal air vehicles as its first project.

The agency will support PAV manufacturers such as Hanwha Systems and Korean Air to develop world-leading flying cars made with carbon materials. After development, the agency will purchase those flying cars and commercialize them, it said.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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