South Korea Pushes Forward To Advance Its Domestic EV Market


Hyundai IONIQ Electric

Hyundai IONIQ Electric

EVs are not very popular in South Korea, especially in comparison to other countries. As a result, the country plans to solve this problem through reduced taxes and insurance, government subsidies, increased charging station infrastructure, and advanced battery development.

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

Taxes added to the purchase price of EVs are now being reduced in South Korea. On top of this, tolls and parking costs will come down and the costs to insure the electric cars will be reduced.

A one time subsidy to EV purchasers has also been increased from $10,400 to $12,100.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy in South Korea reported that the capital city of Seoul will have a large network of fast chargers by 2020.

The city boasts a population of 10 million, thus plans will be to place a charger about every 2 km (about 1.2 miles), throughout the area. During the same time frame, 4,000 nationwide apartment complexes will get about 30,000 standard chargers.

Another major aspect of the plan involves developing a battery that will more than double current range. The goal is up to 248.5 miles on a single charge. This will compare to or surpass the longest range EVs to date.

South Korea is the fifth largest car manufacturing country on the globe, with 1.8 million vehicles built in the first five months of this year. 1.1 million of these vehicles were sold to overseas markets. The country’s domestic EV market share is currently 0.2 percent.

Director of the Automobile Aerospace Division, Lee Woo-joo, said:

“The lack of domestic e-car infrastructure has been an impediment to e-car development and production in South Korea, but that will change from now.”

The ministry forecasts the domestic EV market share to rise to 0.5 percent next year (admittedly still not that high a number) due to the aggressive plans.  By 2020, the ministry predicts that South Korea will see a 5.3 percent EV market share.

South Korea’s impact on the EV market worldwide will also be boosted as Hyundai and Kia finally embrace plug-ins more fully, after being distracting by fuel cells for the most part this decade prior.

Source: Bloomberg

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6 Comments on "South Korea Pushes Forward To Advance Its Domestic EV Market"

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Bolt Irony: you forgot to mention that despite the fact that the GM Bolt was largely developed in Korea by LG Chem there are no plans to sell it there.
Jeez – why are GM/Opel/Vauxhall having to be dragged kicking and screaming into just doing the obvious simple thing: selling the Bolt and the (2016) Volt – LHD & RHD – everywhere. Identical specs.
Same single-syllable names globally: Bolt, Volt.

Please stop playing these silly King Canute games GM, Opel, Vauxhall et al –
KISS: Keep It Simple Stoopid.

And dump the soft, woolley three syllable name Ampera and four syllable name Ampera-e. (Polysyllabic names can work if they begin with a consonant: how’s about “Vampera” ?!)

Bolt & Volt – great single syllable, punchy, (too?)easy-to-remember tabloid names with wide cross-demographic appeal.(ie. something that Opel clearly still don’t want)

Koreans can simply refer to the “Bolt EV” and the “Volt REEV” or “Volt EREV”.

Paul G Editor
Electric Vehicles UK
See Green Car Reports re: Korea and Bolt, Volt:

Polysyllabic names can work even when they start with a vowel. In fact, even when they start with an A. Lamborghini Aventador anyone??

S. Korea is a right hand drive country, so it shouldn’t be an issue there.

Are you sure about right hand drive. You may be thinking of Japan.

250 mile range batteries exist today. Target 400 if you want to do something new.

If Bolt is priced at $37.5K and subsidy is $12.5K, final price would be $25K. Bolt would probably be better than all cars at that price range.

But the biggest problem will be charging. Most Korean’s don’t have garages, instead street parking, even many who live in high rise condos. One only has to see K-Dramas to see this (yea, fiction, I know). 10 minutes at gas station once a month works well, 1 hour at DCFC every 2 weeks (or less!) is going be huge burden.

It will be interesting if Koreans can solve the charging issue, but just putting in chargers from central government probably won’t work.