South Korea’s Jeju Island Will Be Home To 50,000 Electric Cars By End Of 2017

FEB 27 2015 BY MARK KANE 16

Jeju Island Info via Wikipedia

Jeju Island Info via Wikipedia

It’s expected that South Korea’s Jeju Island soon will become an electric car heaven.

Before 2014, there were just 850 EVs on the Island.  Now the number has increased to 1,500.

The short-term plan is to have 5,000 in 2016 and 50,000 in 2017 on the road to only zero emissions vehicles by 2030! Another 50,000 by that time should be allocated in Seoul.

Roughly $275 million will be spent on infrastructure.

“On Feb. 6, Chairman Kim Dae-hwan of the International Electric Vehicle Expo (IEVE) 2015 Organizing Committee said, “Jeju Island has the best platform as a testbed for electric vehicles. We are planning to construct the whole infrastructure by 2017, investing 300 billion won [US$274.73 million] in Jeju Island.””

“Kim said, “Next year, we are planning to increase the number of electric vehicles in Jeju Province to 5,000 units, and also increase its number to 50,000 units by 2017, surpassing the original plan of 29,000. Considering the current target of Seoul to increase the number of electric vehicles in the city to 50,000 by 2017, together we will usher in the era of 100,000 domestic electric vehicles in the future.”

We are not sure if 50,000 is doable, but it’s good to hear that there is progress being made.

Source: BusinessKorea

Categories: General

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16 Comments on "South Korea’s Jeju Island Will Be Home To 50,000 Electric Cars By End Of 2017"

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That sounds kind of strange in that they only had 1500 and now they want to go to 50,000. What will most likely happen is they will get 5000 on that island by 2016. They would have to raise EV production by a factor of ten to support these kind of new car numbers. Not to mention they will have to find 50,000 buyers on this tiny island.

It’s not far-fetched. They have at least 3 domestic BEV makers, and South Korea like all East Asian economies (it seems) can move much faster than Western ones.

Good for Jeju, which I’ve heard from a Korean friend who spent her honeymoon there, is a real national gem.

What intrigues me, though, is that according to this article, 650 EVs were sold in 2014 in Jeju alone, which to my recollection is about the same or larger than the number for the entire country quoted here not long ago. That’s really strange considering that under 1.5% of South Koreans live in Jeju.

Total sold in 2014 is 850-900 so more than 2 in 3 EVs were sold to Jeju if the numbers are correct.

Hey Mutwin, a little closer to 1 and 2 now…there was a little mix-up with the data in that article – probably the just through November numbers.

There was actually 1,183 sold in SK in 2014 for the full year (lead by the Soul EV at 414, the Samsung SM3 at 309, and the Kia Ray EV at 202,. BMW i3 at 170)

More Than 1 In 3 EVs Sold In Korea In 2014 Were The Kia Soul EV

I believe South Korea still has some archaic law on the books that forbids BEVs to be driven on a highway with a speed limit greater than ~60 mph. So that means BEVs can’t be driven on pretty much any highway on the peninsula. But I’m guessing Jeju Island doesn’t have many/any highways with speeds limits above 60, so BEVs are free to roam there.

Have you ever been to Korea? This is a country where 90% of kids leaving school have bad eyesight because they have spend less than 2 hrs a day outside in natural daylight, South Koreans work longer hours than any other nation in the world and they have gone from a third world country to a first world country in a generation. If there is a nation in the world that can do it they will.

Its pretty easy.

SK government provide up to 14k $ incentive, while jeju add another 7k $ incentive.

That slash EV price in half for Leaf or Spark or Soul.

Really big incentives. Big (ongoing for several years already!) push for solar power (solar on top of Your house really make EV good option. Ability to sell solar power back to grid. Higher oil prices due to need of importing that oil oversea.

Lots of reason as to why EV will succeed ABOVE country avrg.

(Same for Hawaii and USA, though Tesla do skew things a bit 😉 )

Yup. Before they went bankrupt, Hawii was very interested in the Better Project for exactly the same reasons.

Medium-size islands like this make a lot of sense for EVs. The range of a typical BEV is adequate to go anywhere. Also, it’s an opportunity to keep the air pristine.

And oil need to be imported by sea too!

EVs add power independence there.

According to the article: “The short-term plan is to have 5,000 in 2016 and 50,000 in 2017 on the road to only zero emissions vehicles by 2030!”

The island’s population: 604,771 (Oct 2014)

Current EVs: 1500

So, assuming one car per buyer for the sake of simplicity, to meet this goal, only 8.02% of the island’s population need to buy highway-capable EV cars within the next two years. That doesn’t sound like a very lofty goal for all cars, but for all of them to be EVs? Unless the government puts in drastic restrictions on gas guzzlers, or subsidies for EVs that would put Norway to shame, that doesn’t sound like a realistic goal.

However, if they are aiming for any sort of EV including e-bikes and low-speed NEVs, then I have no doubt they can easily make that number.

“drastic restrictions on gas guzzlers”
That’s what we need here! Remember we have a sick climat to heal. Presto!

Lensman said: “Unless the government puts in drastic restrictions on gas guzzlers, or subsidies for EVs that would put Norway to shame, that doesn’t sound like a realistic goal.”

I don’t know if Jeju’s subsidies put Norway to shame, but Jeju residents are receiving a $21,500-$21,800 subsidy to purchase a new BEV, which InsideEVs claims is “the highest subsidy amount in the world.” Jegu Island’s ultimate goal is to become home to only zero emission vehicles by 2030.

Note, the island pictured in the story below is NOT Jeju Island, but is a small island off the coast of Jeju Island, which is seen in the background.

Here’s a satellite pic of Jeju Island. It looks pretty interesting.

Jeju is the perfect ‘showcase’ island for EVs. It’s size and topography make it rather ideal. You also have a mix of culture, class, and income that model larger areas rather well. The island is very reliant on tourism income however so I would expect some shuttle vans and full sized tour buses (yes, it’s not THAT small an island and there are highways and MANY tour buses) to become electrified. There is a reason S. Koreans and other from all over the globe travel to this little island. It’s quite the gem indeed with many pockets of varied culture to explore, natural wonders to see, and friendly locals…though the dialect is a little tough even for those fluent in Korean. I can’t imagine a better way to tour the island than in zero emission EV….and clearly the S. Korean Government agrees. Now they just need to remove the silly highway ban for the mainland.

I just realized that Jeju Island was the destination of the ill-fated South Korean ferry that capsized and sank on April 16, 2014 while carrying 476 people, mostly secondary school students, 304 of whom died in the tragic disaster. RIP. My thoughts and prayers go out to their family and friends.