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Tesla Benefits from Half of Korea's Electric Car Subsidies

2020/08/02 Source

Tesla accounted for almost half of government subsidies in Korea for electric cars in the first half of this year. Chinese electric bus makers also benefited significantly.

According to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association on Sunday, EV sales during the January to June period increased 2.7 percent on-year to 16,359 cars.

Korean automakers' sales plunged 43.1 percent during that period due to the delayed release of new models, as well as reduced subsidies per car and increased recharging costs.

But sales of imported electric cars surged 564.1 percent. Tesla's aggressive marketing of its Model 3 resulted in sales surging from just 417 to 7,080 while its share of Korea's EV market rose to 43.3 percent in the first six months.

The U.S. carmaker benefited from W90 billion worth of subsidies or 43 percent of the total (US1=W1,203).

Chinese automakers also performed well thanks to their electric buses. Their sales of electric buses here rose 64.5 percent on-year to 181 as provincial government expanded subsidies for green vehicles. That meant Chinese electric bus makers Hifus and J Motors' sales doubled to 70 and saw their share of the Korean market rose to 38.7 percent.

They benefited from 35.1 percent of EV subsidies or W5.9 billion.

KAMA chairman Chung Man-ki said, "Subsidies come from taxpayers, so we need to revise the system to benefit Korean automakers".

According to KAMA, France in May overhauled its EV subsidy system to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to benefit Peugeot Citroën more, and Germany did the same so that Mercedes-Benz and BMW gain more. China offers subsidies only to EVs that use Chinese-made rechargeable batteries.

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