SEJONG, Feb. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea said Thursday it will spend 385.6 billion won (US$326.2 million) on research and development (R&D) projects for auto parts for eco-friendly vehicles, such as electric cars, in line with the country’s latest clean energy drive.
The project that will run through 2026 will center on lending hands to small and midsized enterprises, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
“Amid a change in the industrial paradigm in the automobile segment, the project will help South Korean automakers make inroads into the future car industry and better compete with global rivals,” the ministry said in a statement.
The fund will be spent on helping South Korean firms develop new technologies in different areas, seeking to make cars charge faster and travel longer distances.
South Korea earlier unveiled its blueprint for the eco-friendly car industry in line with its energy drive, which centers on utilizing more sustainable resources and less fossil fuel.
Under the vision, electric and hydrogen-fuel cell cars will take up 33 percent of newly sold cars here in 2030.
Eco-friendly cars accounted for 2.6 percent of newly sold cars in South Korea last year.
South Korea also plans to make its major roads suitable for the operation of self-driving automobiles by 2027.