SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea said Thursday the accumulated number of eco-friendly cars running in the country will reach 7.85 million by 2030, in line with its vision to go fully carbon-neutral by 2050.
The target will mark a sharp rise from 820,000 units tallied in the previous year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The emission of greenhouse gases from cars will also fall 24 percent over the period.
The announcement came as a part of the five-year fourth basic plan on promoting the eco-friendly automobiles. It will later be finalized at a Cabinet meeting.
South Korea has been making efforts to penetrate deeper into the future car industry in line with its green energy drive. As of 2020, South Korea was the world’s fourth-largest exporter of electric cars and the world’s top producer of hydrogen fuel cell models.
To meet the new target, public organizations are obligated to purchase only eco-friendly cars starting this year, while more incentives will be provided to the private sector as well.
South Korea plans to install at least 120 fast-charging stations for electric vehicles this year, which would allow them to travel 300 kilometers after being charged for 20 minutes.
Parking lots will be obligated to have at least 10 charging booths for every 200 cars starting in 2022.
Hydrogen fuel cell cars will be able to reach charging stations within 30 minutes nationwide. The government said it will especially focus on building more in the greater Seoul area.
To make eco-friendly cars more affordable, South Korea said it plans to slash the price tag by at least 10 million won (US$9,200) by 2025 through tax incentives and developing home-grown parts.
Other major goals include releasing fully autonomous vehicles by 2024.
At Level 4, a vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions and will not operate if all required conditions are not satisfied. At Level 5, a vehicle’s automated driving features can drive under any conditions.
Some 1,000 auto parts makers will be transformed as future-car related businesses by 2030 as well.
Outbound shipments of eco-friendly cars, which came to 280,000 units last year, will reach 830,000 in 2025, the government said, adding such automobiles will then account for 34.6 percent of the total shipments, up from 14.6 percent posted in 2020.
South Korea shipped $37.4 billion worth of automobiles in 2020, down 13.1 percent on-year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Exports of electric cars, on the other hand, shot up 39.9 percent to reach $4.6 billion.