SEOUL, Feb. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — The market for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations has been feared by many as an unyielding, unpredictable business, but not for long.
The government recently vowed to make the market more accessible for business, and sales and exports of electric vehicles have been on the rise in recent months.
Previously, charging stations could only be owned and operated by a limited number of businesses.
There are currently around 70,000 charging stations for EVs in South Korea, which more or less meets the demand coming from the 80,000 EVs driven in the country.
The number, however, is still short of accommodating the forecast that electric cars will reach 3 million in 10 years.
In response, the Ministry of Environment revealed plans to open up charging stations to all businesses this year.
From now on, anyone will be able to set up charging stations as long as certain requirements are fulfilled.
The new plan has malls, logistics companies, and refiners scrambling to gain the upper hand.
For instance, Emart Inc., a South Korea’s largest hypermarket chain, will now be able to go beyond leasing out spaces for EV charging stations to start a charging station network of its own.
It is also a perfect timing for logistics companies to start building their own network of charging stations to accommodate the rising number of electric delivery trucks.
Consumers, in turn, will be offered more options for EVs.
Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. plan to introduce new variations of the Kona and Niro electric SUVs, adding to the EV line-up following the Ioniq electric sedan and Soul introduced last year.
Renault S.A.’s ZOE, an EV bestseller in Europe, is also drawing close attention. Renault Samsung Motors Corp., the South Korean unit of Renault, will launch the ZOE pure electric car this year.
The ZOE is capable of covering 395 kilometers on a single charge, and comes at an affordable price of approximately 30 million won (US$25,000). Unlike other imported vehicles, ZOE will come with a compatible charging standard in South Korea.
Kevin Lee (email@example.com)