SEOUL, Jun. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — Sales of electric cars in South Korea have grown sevenfold in the past year, as growing public interest is seeing more consumers trade in their gas-guzzlers to instead opt for more eco-friendly and energy-saving alternatives.
According to data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, the number of electric vehicles registered by April of this year was 3,213 units, up a whopping 700 percent compared to the same time a year ago, pushing the share of electric cars among all cars to 0.5 percent.
Interestingly, the number of registered electric vehicles fell in line with the subsidies provided by local governments, as typical market prices mean EVs are still out of reach of the average car buyer without financial support from the government.
When broken down by province, Jeju came out on top in the nation as the island has committed to promoting the use of the energy-saving vehicles, adding 1,212 newly registered electric cars during the first four months of this year.
Daegu followed close behind with 526 electric vehicles registered over the same period, while Incheon and South Chungcheong Province ranked in the bottom tier for promoting electric vehicles.
Amid growing public interest that saw more than half of the local governments on board run out of subsidies, the central government is considering the idea of expanding its previous annual budget of 300 billion won in order to meet the target of supplying 14,392 vehicles to the market this year.
Against this backdrop, car makers including Tesla Motors and Renault Samsung Motors are expected to accelerate their sales efforts through events and exhibitions in the next few weeks.
“Given the market size and the growth in recent months, it’s true that South Korean consumers have become familiar with electric cars. Car makers are also swiftly responding to the growing demand and adding more electric car models to this year’s lineup, to add momentum to the growing market,” an industry analyst noted.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)