SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – The total number of EVs registered by the government surpassed 10,000 in 2016, setting a new milestone and taking another step forward towards a greener automotive industry.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, there were 10,855 electric vehicles officially registered as of the end of last year, jumping by more than 3,000 percent since 2011, when only 344 green vehicles were registered. Driven by the increasing supply of EVs, eco-friendly vehicles now account for a little over 1 percent (244,158) of all registered vehicles in Korea.
Jeju was the most popular destination for the EVs, with half (5,629) of all vehicle registrations occurring on the popular vacation island.
Among all eco-friendly cars newly registered in 2016, 87 were hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, an increase from 29 in 2015, and 233,216 were hybrid vehicles, up by 33.6 percent from the year prior (174,620).
The government currently hopes to replace 30 percent of annual new car registrations (roughly 480,000) with EVs or other environmentally friendly types by year 2020.
Meanwhile, the total number of registered vehicles grew by 3.9 percent last year to 21,803,351, which is one vehicle for every 2.37 persons, although the rate of growth was lower than 2015 at 4.3 percent.
The number of car owners aged 65 and above continued to rise, making up 9.7 percent of all owners, while female drivers also made progress, now accounting for 21.2 percent of the drivers with 4.63 million vehicles.
The younger generation (aged 20 – 29), on the other hand, only represented 2.6 percent of all car owners last year, with officials pointing to the high youth unemployment rate and tough job market forcing young consumers to delay vehicle purchases.
Imported vehicles continued their rise, accounting for 7.5 percent, or 1.64 million units, of all vehicles. It marked the sixth consecutive year that the percentage of imported vehicles saw an increase.
“We expect the total number of vehicles to surpass 22 million in the first half of 2017,” said a ministry official. “We’ll continue to bolster our traffic measures to better accommodate eco-friendly vehicles and the aging population.”
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)