South Korea’s annual electric-car sales surpass the 10,000-unit mark for the first time, nearly doubling the 2016 total after 10 months.
According to Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Assn. and industry sources, EV sales reached 10,075 units from January through October, the Pulse business-news website reports.
The surge is attributed to a government tax cut and subsidies, in addition to expanded charging infrastructure and EVs’ improved performance.
Registered EVs totaled 61 in 2010, then surged to 1,308 units in 2014; 2,917 in 2015; and 5,099 in 2016, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The cumulative number of registered EVs in the country topped 10,000 units last year and will exceed 20,000 this year, Pulse reports.
South Korea’s best-selling EV through 10 months of this year was the Hyundai Ioniq with 6,203 units, good for 61.6% of total sales. It was followed by the Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E with 1,569 deliveries; the Kia Soul, 1,290; General Motors’ Chevrolet Bolt, 457; Renault Samsung Twizy, 259; BMW i3, 153; Tesla Model S, 54; Nissan Leaf, 47; and Kia Ray, 38.
Most of the vehicles are all-electric; the report does not indicate whether the Ioniq’s total includes the plug-in hybrid variant.
Industry-watchers say sharp growth in EV sales is expected for next year as a variety of new models arrive on the market.