Seoul, South Korea – The metropolitan government of Seoul, South Korea plans to install more than 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging points by the end of 2010.

“We are establishing advanced operation system to compete with EV charging infrastructure established in other advanced cities,” said Lee I-Keun, director for air quality management division at the government.

In an effort to promote the use of EVs, the city government is working to secure enough parking spaces to accommodate a minimum of two vehicles and at least one charging station at each of its district offices. In recognition that lack of charging facilities is the biggest challenge in promoting EVs, the city government signed a joint agreement with three large Seoul-based retailers: Lotte Mart, E-Mart, and Home Plus.

Based on the agreement, Lotte Mart will install EV stations at its two branches in the city, while E-Mart will install one charging station that can accommodate two vehicles at the same time, and designate two parking spaces exclusively for EVs at its Seongsu branch. Within this year, it will install EV recharging facilities at six stores around Seoul, and expand to 25 stores in the near future.

Home Plus installed an EV charger at one store this month and will eventually have all 25 stores in Seoul equipped with the service.

Under the agreement, users will be able to recharge their cars at the stores for free until the end of the year; however, both the city government and the businesses will join efforts to extend free recharging in the future and further prioritize electric vehicle drivers.

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