The South Korean government is looking into supporting infrastructure and offering green car incentives to increase disappointing sales numbers, according to an official.
Korean automakers and car importers are pointing out that establishing a charging and fueling infrastructure should come first, and that various incentives should be provided if the plan is to succeed. Minister of Environment Jo Kyeong-kyu said on October 18 that a plan similar to what’s being used in the U.S. is being evaluated.
“This year, the South Korean government is planning to reach an electric vehicle supply volume of 10,000 cars but the actual supply stood at half of it until the end of September,” Kyeong-kyu said. “This is because Hyundai Motor Company’s Ionic production volume has dipped below 1,000 units a month due to the recent strike, most of the cars were sent to the U.S. because of the quota, and only 200 or so Ionics were supplied to the South Korean market a month as a result.”
The South Korean government is currently looking into mandates enforced by the U.S. and other countries that could apply to South Korean and foreign automakers if implemented. The government is looking at policies adopted in six Chinese cities where the number of cars on roads is being controlled except for plug-in electrified vehicles. A few European countries are also being researched on policies banning diesel cars.
In August, the government blocked sales of 80 Volkswagen Group models for its diesel emissions investigation. The nation’s environment ministry expanded the probe last to 23 foreign automakers with 110 diesel models sold in that market.
South Korea in December unveiled a five-year plan to drastically increase the number of environmentally-friendly cars on its streets, as auto makers’ emissions come under intensifying scrutiny globally. The government aims to ensure that hybrids, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell cars account for 20% of all new cars sold in the country by 2020, up sharply from the current 2%, according to the plan by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.