South Korea Targets 30% Electric Car Sales By 2020


Chevy Spark EV In South Korea

Chevy Spark EV In South Korea

Renault Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E.

Renault Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E.

Senior policymakers in South Korea have collectively announced an electric car goal, and it is an aggressive one.

The goal is for electric cars to account for 30% of all new passenger vehicle sales by 2020 and South Korea’s prime minister, Hwang Kyo-ahn, fully supports this target.

As Yonhap reports:

“At a gathering of senior policymakers chaired by Prime Minister , the government decided to take steps to make electric vehicles (EVs) account for 30 percent of all automobile sales by 2020.”

“The government also plans to limit the entry of old diesel-powered vehicles into the Seoul metropolitan area and shut down coal-powered electric power generation plants that have been in operation for more than 40 years to improve air quality.”

Soon we can hope that one of the major industrialized, automotive driving regions will come forward with an equally aggressive proposition.  Recently, Norway also said it will look to ban tax the heck out of ICE purchases in the country, to make the sale of petrol-only vehicles practically non-existent by 2025.

Source: Yonhap

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36 Comments on "South Korea Targets 30% Electric Car Sales By 2020"

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With Korean companies being the leaders in battery technology it is no brainer.

So what does the “no diesel in downtown” enforcement look like? An off-ramp sign that reads “diesel vehicles prohibited from exit” or an official policy that the citizens and local law enforcement mutually ignore? Something else?

Here in the UK in London we already have low emission zone signs and number plate recognition cameras that automatically dish out fines for non compliance.

They are going to change this to Ultra low emission zone and charge even more to enter the city.

In German cities, there are signposts at the entrance of low-emission areas. They detail which minimum emission level your car must meet to be allowed entrance to the low-emission zone by showing the required emission sticker (called “Umweltplakette”). The car’s emission level is indicated by that compulsory sticker behind the windscreen. It’s colour is awarded according to the current emissions rules. E.g. Diesels without a particulate filter and no catalytic converter receive a red sticker (worst) or yellow sticker (if they have a catalytic converter), or a green one if they have both. Petrol/gas cars are awarded green if they have catalytic converter, otherwise yellow. Examples: Most cities now only allow cars at least as good as green inside the low-emission zone. Currently there is a debate about introducing a further, stricter level, “blue”, for which only ultra-low emission vehicles would qualify, i.e. diesels with NOx filers/traps and the same for petrol/gas cars with direct injection engines (similar NOx issues as diesels). And then probably an even stricter level, “white”, which would be introduced several years later, to enable cities to ban all but local zero-emission vehicles such as (PH)EVs and FCEVs. Not sure how they will regulate if… Read more »

With the lack of chargers and most of the populous living in condos and unable to charge at home, I doubt this will happen. Even 3% is an ambitious goal, seeing how US is hovering 1% even with most having the ability to charge at home.

I would imagine in the most populous areas such as large cities, like London here in the UK, very few people actually own cars that live there, most use public transport.

Car sharing & Uber are increasingly being used along with renting electric cars for a few hours rather than owning them.

A growing percentage entering cities are deliveries only.

Here in Sweden we are at 3.08% this year if you count BEV and PHEV and if you think of all new cars that will come the next few years I don’t think it’s hard to get above that number in more countries.

We’re talking about nationwide, not just some cities. While cities have good public transport, even those who take them have cars.

Car ownership in South Korea is 450/1000. Considering most households are more than 2 people, that’s a car for almost every household, and most households lack the ability to charge at home. I just don’t see 30% of them switching to EV without infrastructure, unless you count PH that you don’t actually plug in.

It’s not a big deal to wire up parking lots and garages. If the gov’t is serious about this goal they will incent/mandate it.

It is a HUGE deal to wire up parking lots and garages for residences. Given the limited parking spaces in most places, dedicated parking won’t work. Then you run into the problem of who gets what for how much compared to much simpler “pay at the pump”.

But if you count PH that you don’t actually plug in as EV, sure, 30% is possible. Government will claim “we have 30% EV” while people will drive around with far heavier battery of PH they don’t / can’t actually plug-in. Or maybe he was alluding to non-plugin hybrid as EV.

Mandate automatic consent to necessary works by condo owner/administrator. Done. Add L2 capable power lines as must have to building regs. Done.

Charging for renting people solved.

I fail to see Your point about gass stations and chargers. Both follow same economic principles. If one works other will too. With added bonus of chargers being cheaper to build.

Look at Holland, where the charge-at-home problem for people renting is already more or less solved.

Paul, would you please expand on this?

How has Netherlands (Holland) solved the problem?

The Netherlands is about twice New Jersey in land area and population.
There are about 500 DCFC and 20,000 public L2 chargers, another 80,000 home chargers and an unknown number of destination chargers at hospitals, IKEA’s, shopping malls and the like.

The way to get at these numbers is having all levels of government realize they have to promote and facilitate electric driving.
This results in:
– no problems with licensing for installing chargers.
– If you can’t park and charge on your own ground, local government will install street charger for you.
– If you live in an apartment building, the owner will install a charger.
– Pro active policy to have enough public chargers available.

Take for example the city of Rotterdam. They have just invited bids to install 4,000 public chargers in the greater Rotterdam economic area to be installed next year in anticipation of the growing number of PEV visiting the city.

The six TESLA superchargers are the only ones by a car company. Don’t wait for automakers who don’t want to sell you an electric car in the first place. If you want an electric car, take care of your infrastructure and force the automakers to sell you a BEV.

WOW! That’s fantastic! Glad I asked.

Clearly Holland has become a model for every industrialized country, for making cities “EV friendly”.

Rent in Korea operate very differently than US. Even if it did, it’s not just renters; most “home owners” live in condos. It’s not the landlords who’ll pay, but the residents. They’ll revolt with tear gas in the air before mandated to pay thousands of dollars for charging stations.

Gas prices are floating, and you can see it changing daily. Electric prices are fixed. They follow very different economics. In effect, you pay “lowest possible price” for gas while electricity is far higher than what it could be, and won’t come down any time soon, if ever. Just look at energy price in oil to gasoline vs fossil fuel to electricity.

not a problem for Korea, any power point becomes an EV charging with a $1 sticker.

seriously, not a problem

It’s not quite that easy. The outlet also needs a wifi-controlled on/off switch installed.

But certainly much easier than several posts above suggest.

Electricity isn’t free. There are only few outlets in typical parking lots, not nearly enough to cover 30%. Then you have to setup accounting and metering and dedicated vs non-dedicated, etc. etc. It’s just not realistic to have enough for 30% by 2020.

More I think about it, the more it seems what he meant are hybrids of any kind, plug in or not. That can be 30% by 2020, though still with significant push.

Sparky, I think you’re greatly exaggerating the difficulty of running power lines into parking lots etc. It’s certainly going to be easier than installing traffic lights and street lights, and nobody is claiming those are especially difficult to add to an urban environment.

The idea that it should cost thousands of dollars just to cut a trench thru the asphalt or concrete of a parking lot, and install a post containing 2 or 4 outlets, is pretty silly. If there are construction companies charging thousands of dollars for that now, they’ll quickly be run out of business from companies charging a more reasonable rate.

This sort of retrofitting of EV charge points is going to become very commonplace as the EV revolution progresses. People shouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to install a simple EV slow charge 220v outlet with a wifi on/off switch. No complex EVSE required. The EVSE should be in the car, not in the outlet.

And in most cases, neither property owners nor renters will have to pay that much, as this becomes routine and competition brings the installation price down.

EVSE with Wifi are complex. It’ll easily cost over $1000. And if you think trenching won’t cost thousand, obviously you’ve never had to do any trenching. You can get an estimate for this work by by asking your electrician how much it’ll cost to trent about 200 ft on separate metering (needed by bureaucracy). It’s not just few hundred dollars.

No big deal by any stretch (or the lack of). Most condos have underground parking for residents in big asian cities. And most of them have electricity supply to power lights (remember, underground). Now you can put a meter there and charge the owner of the parking spot, trivial. Or you can do a slightly smart energy meter which can talk to the car (or a plastic card with the driver) and charge accordingly in a shared parking situation. Still not a big deal!

Here in Finland we already have wiring for engine heaters in every parking lot. That’s 230V/10A (with a 2h timer). There’s at least some effort going on to make these things suitable for EV charging. Too sad Finland is so much behind otherwise.

“The goal is for electric cars to account for 30% of all new passenger vehicle sales by 2020 and South Korea’s prime minister, Hwang Kyo-ahn, fully supports this target.”

How awesome is this. Even if they fall 50% short of reaching the goal, that’s still 15% of all new vehicles sold which would be a great step forward in a short period of time.

Good luck to them.
What percentage of EVs are they at now?

Last data from 2015 shows .002%

Sometimes politicians make me laugh. Norway has been aggressive with EV incentives and infrastructure since 2010 and they are just approaching 25% after six years and South Korea wants to get to 30% from less than 1% in 4 yrs. Up until now, they’ve have counter intuitive policies to EVs restricting them from highways.

I will be shocked if SK reaches 10% in that timeframe.

Norway started when the only sort-of normal cars available were the very short range LEAF 1.0 and i-Miev.

Technology has progressed a lot and there are a lot of cars to choose from, so your comparison of time lines is not valid.

And back then the cars were more expensive. Now the lifetime cost of an EV is about the same as an ICE.

SK moved from 2nd poorest nation on earth to G20 in 50 years. If they want to change they can and will. An amazing country and amazing people. Their politicians and regulators can be as frustrating as in any other country. However, if you want to see change happening fast go and live in SK for a few years.

Kia will like this
Hyundai will hate it

interesting times for Korea’s car companies

Why? They are essentially under the same ownership, although they do have models that compete with each other.
Both have EVs in actual production, and have announced they’ll have more.

Kia is controlled by Hyundai’s 34% ownership of them, but the corporate mind of Kia is pro EV, whereas the corporate mind of Hyundai is pro H2 Fuel cell.

They are 2 different companies but closely aligned. The internal conversation there must be entertaining.

The Korean government relies heavily on Hyundai, the failure of Hyundai to promote EVs was tolerated, but that time is now over.

I can’t imagine that S. Korea could possibly achieve a goal that aggressive unless they do what Norway has done, imposing very heavy taxes and fees (up to 100%!) on gasmobile sales while completely eliminating them for plug-in EVs. In theory at least, they could also achieve the same goal by limiting the number of license plates issued to gasmobiles every year, as China does, but I can’t see the population of a democracy sitting still for that kind of heavy-handed control by the government. On the positive side, S. Korea does have the “EV-line” system of public EV chargers, which need nothing more than a simple 220 outlet and a wifi-controlled switch. No need to install an expensive EVSE at every public EV charge point. So proliferating EV chargers to parking lots and public parking spaces should be easier there than in many other countries… such as the USA, where standard voltage is only 110. I’m disappointed that I haven’t seen more about the EV-line system, because it seems that system, or a very similar one, should work in any country where 220 voltage is the standard. For more about the EV-line system, see “EV-Line Can Turn Any Outlet… Read more »

Hopefully more nations will promote EV’s, but really things will change when conventional car makers will start building true EV’s , they haven’t so far, If it wasn’t for Tesla we would have 50 mile range EV maximum.

I’m re-posting this because our exchange got “squeezed out” above: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SparkEV June 13, 2016 at 10:08 am EVSE with Wifi are complex. It’ll easily cost over $1000. And if you think trenching won’t cost thousand, obviously you’ve never had to do any trenching. You can get an estimate for this work by by asking your electrician how much it’ll cost to trent about 200 ft on separate metering (needed by bureaucracy). It’s not just few hundred dollars. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [end quote] Please follow the link I gave for the “EV-line” charging system. No EVSE needed at the outlet; it’s just a simple 200v outlet with a wifi off/on switch, and a bar code identifying the individual outlet. The “smart” EVSE is carried in the car, and used to scan the bar code and activate the outlet. Billing is handled by a subscription service. The idea here is that all public EV chargers would be set up to use this system. No need for different access cards etc. for different networks. Universal access. “…if you think trenching won’t cost thousand, obviously you’ve never had to do any trenching.” Google Fiber cut a trench in our yard to connect the fiber… Read more »