SEOUL, July 27 (Korea Bizwire) — U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. was found to have received a massive amount of government subsidies following a surge in electric vehicle (EV) sales in the South Korean market in the first half of this year.
Experts argue that EV subsidies are falling into the hands of a foreign company, contributing little to the South Korean industry, and the problem should be addressed.
The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association reported on Sunday that EV sales in the first half of this year jumped by 23 percent (22,267 cars) compared to last year.
A total of 16,359 domestic brand EVs were sold during the same period, which was 2.7 percent lower than last year.
The sales drop is mainly derived from underperformance among South Korean EVs.
There were no new EV models released early this year, and consumers chose not to open up their wallets as they wait for new models to be released next year.
Imported EV sales, in contrast, jumped by 572.2 percent to 7,414 cars, mainly driven by Tesla’s new Model 3, 7,080 of which were sold this year.
An increasing number of EV sales led to a surge in government subsidies.
Among 209 billion won (US$175 million) distributed as EV subsidies by the government this year, Tesla took 90 billion won, accounting for 43 percent of all subsidies.
Experts are calling on the government to amend policies on EV subsidies.
France and Germany, for instance, are focusing their subsidy policies on domestic manufacturers.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)