Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Korea – Less Than 1,000 In 2014 Through November

FEB 16 2015 BY MARK KANE 7

Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E.

Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E.

Electric car sales in South Korea never were high compared to other countries.  According to sources, just below 1,000 units were sold through November.

South Korea is one of those countries in which EVs comes mostly from domestic production. Kia led the market with some 500 units sold – 311 Soul EVs and 183 Ray EVs. There were 203 SM3 Z.E. (Korean version of Renault Fluence Z.E.). Even Spark EV is manufactured in Korea (and then exported to the US).

Nissan LEAF and BMW i3 captured over one tenth of the EV market, although LEAF sales began in Korea just recently.

Preliminary data:

  • Kia Soul EV 311
  • SM3 Z.E. 203
  • Kia Ray EV 183
  • BMW i3 83
  • Chevrolet Spark EV 46
  • Nissan LEAF 30

Update: Earlier data erroneously pointed to full 2014  result, when it was just through November 2014

Source: & EV Sales Blog

Categories: Sales


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7 Comments on "Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Korea – Less Than 1,000 In 2014 Through November"

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I sure hope the Kia Soul EV takes off at some point. I love mine.

Other EV issues that South Korea faces are that there’s not many places to charge because the vast majority of the population lives in high rise apartment buildings.

Of course that’s a worldwide problem at the moment for apartment dwellers to find a spot to charge an EV easily.

Additionally, their roads are somewhat small (relative to roads in the US at least), due to the country’s small geographic size (though this makes nationwide fast internet easier to set up too). It was also largely built in post-WW2/Korean War era, so the roadways can get a bit haphazard at times.

As a result, many Koreans just take mass transit, as it’s cheaper and usually faster than taking a car, unless they need to go out to the boondocks.

Yes, many Koreans like living in the big cities in apartment skyscrapers, but there are still several million people living in small villages, where most of them has an own house.

But also in the cities, all new apartment complexes are build with underground parking garages, which would be perfect to install some hundreds of slow overnight chargers there. If it’s not done, it’s a more a problem of regulation, FUD and unwillingness.

Has the ban upon BEV use on highways in South Korea been lifted? If not, this would remain a serious impediment to sales.

No. Korean government is very slow in changing decades old things.

This is a real shame…and an embarrassment to South Korea as in many ways they are actually advanced over the U.S. in technology. To still ban BEV use upon highways while their own auto manufacturers are producing such BEVs is preposterous. When will the realize the modern BEV has not only minimal ICE capacity but in some cases far more (Telsa certainly comes to mind…though admittedly it’s not made in South Korea).

Soul EV is a great EV, ways better than a Leaf.