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South Korea All Set for Mass Production of Electric Cars
Oct 23, 2009

South Korea plans to mass produce electric cars to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and combat surging fuel prices.

According to the government, South Korea aims to speed up large scale production of electric vehicles (EVs) in order to better comply the global environmental protection trends and cope with high fuel prices, reported Yonhap News.

The country has plans to capture 10% of the worldwide electric car market and become one among the top four countries in this sector by 2015. An investment of 400 Billion Won (US$ 342.9 Million) by the State, which is proposed to be invested by 2014, will assist carmakers in Korea to develop core materials and parts for electric cars.

At first, the government will strategically select those important parts of electric cars that are to be promoted for this proposed investment by 2014. 55 Billion Won (US$ 47.1 Million) will be invested in developing batteries for electric cars.

In addition to offering R&D support, policymakers at the environmental and transportation ministries informed that administrative measures would be implemented in coming times, allowing electric vehicles to operate under the same policies as diesel and gasoline powered vehicles.

Tax credits will be granted on expenses invested in developing core parts and safety guidelines for electric cars will be issued. Moreover, there are plans for approval conditions for recharging stations for EVs as well as new regulations for allowing such facilities to be set up in public parking spaces and apartment complexes.

As the leading carmakers in the US, Europe and Japan have either already launched or are planning to launch mass production of EVs within the coming few years, aforementioned efforts have gained urgency in South Korea. For instance, Japan released the first mass produced EV of the world, known as the i-MiEV, in July 2009 while GM is likely to come up with similar vehicles in 2010.

Several other countries have also revealed that they will start implementing more stringent greenhouse gas emission regulations for new cars so as reduce carbon-dioxide emissions that are mainly held responsible for global warming.

According to a Research Analyst at RNCOS, "The new goal of mass production of EVs set by the government has given a new direction to the South Korean automotive industry. Efforts made in this direction will certainly help the industry to capture significant share in the worldwide market for environment friendly vehicles."

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