Korea ups subsidies for eco-friendly cars to speed up green push

2021.01.22 09:13:49 | 2021.01.22 09:14:19

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South Korea will offer up to 19 million won ($17,000) in subsidies to people who buy an electric car this year and up to 37.5 million won for a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle to ensure more eco-friendly cars on the road as part of the country’s green push, according to the government’s expanded subsidy plan.

The government said on Thursday it aims to add 136,000 electric and hydrogen vehicles this year by upping its subsidy to 1.02 trillion won for 121,000 EVs, and to 365.5 billion won for 15,000 hydrogen vehicles. This year’s target number of EVs and hydrogen vehicles is up by 21.4 percent and 49.2 percent, respectively, from a year ago.

The government will also install 31,500 EV charging systems and build 54 hydrogen stations across the country this year to provide a more convenient charging environment.

The bold green car subsidy program is a part of the Korean government’s Green New Deal initiative unveiled in July to nurture renewable energy, green infrastructure, and green industrial sectors as the country’s new growth engines as well as to address air and water pollution.

Hyundai Motor Kona and Kia Motors Niro are among the EV models to receive the largest subsidy benefit with up to 19 million won in total from the central and local governments. Up to 37.5 million won will be offered in subsidy to those who buy Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell electric car.

Under the government’s revised subsidy program this year, buyers of an electric vehicle with a longer driving range per charge will get more in subsidies. The government will also differentiate subsidy levels by car price as those retailed between 60 million won and 90 million won will receive only a 50 percent subsidy, and expensive models priced over 90 million won will receive no subsidy.

Subsidies for electric taxis, buses and trucks will also increase to support small business owners.

By Oh Chan-jong, Song Min-geun and Minu Kim

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