Renault Samsung Motors Exceeds 1,000 BEV Sales In 2015 And Remains #1 In South Korea

2 years ago by Mark Kane 14

Renault Samsung Motors EV sales in South Korea – December 2015

Renault Samsung Motors EV sales in South Korea – December 2015

Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E.

Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E.

Renault Samsung Motors secured its goal of at least 1,000 sales of the all-electric SM3 Z.E. (aka the Renault Fluence Z.E.) in South Korea.

In December, around 163 were delivered, while in the whole of 2015 a total of 1,043. units were sold.

With 1,767 sales since 2013, SM3 Z.E. is now also the most popular EV in South Korea.

RSM is supporting EV penetration in the country
RSM has reinforced its after-sales network by placing EV pilots in 16 cities, expanding EV after-sales centers to 226 locations and additionally establishing a battery repair center in Jeju Island.

In Korea, incentives to buy an EV include an average 20 million KRW subsidy [IEV: some $16,500] (depending on the region), one free charger, as well as reduced parking costs & congestion charge.

SM3 Z.E., the only mid-sized 100% electric sedan in Korea
As the only mid-sized 100% electric vehicle in Korea, RSM SM3 Z.E. is known for its driving stability and spacious back seat. It can run up to 135km with a single charge.

In 2015, SM3 Z.E. was selected as both Korea’s official government vehicle and Seoul EV taxi. This year, RSM has provided more than 100 EV taxis (including 60 for Seoul city), introduced a taxi battery management service in Jeju, and is setting up additional mid-speed chargers near taxi garages and drivers’ cafeterias.”

SM3 Z.E. in the fleet of Seoul Taxi Association

SM3 Z.E. in the fleet of Seoul Taxi Association

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14 responses to "Renault Samsung Motors Exceeds 1,000 BEV Sales In 2015 And Remains #1 In South Korea"

  1. Speculawyer says:

    1000 is #1? Is South Korea a much smaller market than I thought or do they really hate EVs there?

    And if the latter, that is pretty crazy considering LG Chem is one of the biggest EV battery makers.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Problem in South Korea is charging. Most people live in high rise apartments (condos) and park in open parking lots or streets. They can’t charge the car, even at home, never mind going outside the battery range.

      Not sure what the best remedy might be. DCFC would help, but without home charging, that will result in long lines. I suppose a start could be mandate L2 at office building parking lots so they can charge while working office jobs. But the rest? Hard to say how it could be addressed (battery swap stations?)

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Well, most high-rise condos/apartments have parking lots in the lower level. It seems that it is now time for the government to push for chargers to be installed in all such parking lots. It is pretty basic electrician work.

  2. wavelet says:

    It’s been a tiny market so far, but the government’s decided that will change, so it will. Objectively, I believe the Seoul metro area is well suited for short- and mid-range EVs.

    EVification is a disruption opportunity in the automotive market, so once it looks like it is actually happening, it would benefit Hyundai and Kia, not just Samsung and LG.

    The SM3 ZE is actually the same car that was to have been used by Better Place in Israel (IIRC, drivetrain is identical). It’s old tech, but it allows amortizing the design — Better Place committed to Renault to buy 100K units, but went bankrupt after only ~1K had been sold.

    1. jmac says:

      Like some other 2nd tier markets in Europe, namely eastern Europe, the EV market seems to be just now really opening up in South Korea.

      Actually, the Better Place model, you mentioned, may still have a little life in it. I noticed in a recent U-tube video that the Chinese Kandi micro-car has a battery swap option for their rental cars. The electric taxis in New York around the turn of the century had a fast battery swap system.

      Also, battery swapping for Formula E cars might be better than the way they’re doing it now where the driver just hops into a second car. Fans might like it better. More like an Indy cars pit stop for more gas (new battery) and tires.

      Once South Korea and some of the other slow pokes and no pokes start opening up, EV statistics should start going through the roof.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Yeah, I really want Formula E to move to battery swapping instead of switching cars. Switching cars seems so lame. Having a pit crew drop out a spent battery and insert a new one while changing tires would definitely add to the drama.

      2. wavelet says:

        Everyone seems to associate Better Place with battery swapping, but that was a very minor aspect of the system, and was only intended for long-range trips, as a temporary measures until battery capacities grew. The full build-out Israel was planned to be half a million charging points (you couldn’t charge from a home cirvcuit) but only 200 swap stations.
        The major point of the system was the cellphone-type business model, where the driver paid for a yearly plan providing a given mileage, not for electricity.

  3. Anon says:

    Not sure why, but this EV looks better and goes as far as the gen one Leaf. Why does it not sell better?

    1. Dirugutxi says:

      The trunk is literally full of batteries and in Europe, you only can lease it.

      1. Anon says:

        Oh. So it’s like a Ford Focus Electric that you can’t buy.

        That sucks. 🙁

        1. JP says:

          It is not being sold in Europe anymore. And it was for sale, you just had to rent the battery…

  4. Paul says:

    This is not the same car as the Fluence in Europe, that nobody buys. From the outside, yes, but inside it has the charging infrastructure of the European Renault Zoé. This means it can fast charge on AC, which the Fluence cannot. That makes a huge difference.

    1. wavelet says:

      Thanks for the correction!

  5. ydnas7 says:

    Its what EU Fluence would’ve, could’ve, should’ve been, AC 43kW capable. It makes all the difference. But development time, takes time. I wonder how a 30kWH Fluence/SM3 ZE would sell today?

    trunk wise, its better than focus EV, Renault stretched the trunk.