The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced on Tuesday its plans to refurbish 150 unused telephone booths within this year into battery swapping stations for charging electric motorcycles.
The city government added that the battery swapping stations can significantly reduce charging hours. Just with a user certification, empty batteries can immediately be replaced with fully-charged ones. The stations are highly accessible as they are installed in old unused telephone booths.
It usually took four to six hours to charge a battery for electric motorcycles and they could run approximately 50 kilometers per charging, which means it was inconvenient for delivery motorcycle drivers who have to ride more than 150 kilometers on average daily.
Some 150 battery swapping stations will be built this year near the areas where single-person households are clustered or delivery demand is high. Thirty stations have already been installed in the districts in Seoul such as Guro, Dongjak and Songpa, and 30 more will be built by the end of this month. Users who wish to visit the stations can download the application called "D-STATION" on their smartphones and sign up to use the service.
For now, only users who ride electric motorcycles provided by DNA Motors, a city government contractor, can use the stations because electric vehicles are equipped with different types of batteries. The city government also plans to replace all the motorcycles dedicated for full-time delivery business running in the city (approx. 35,000 units) into electric ones.