Sales of alternative powertrain vehicles in South Korean grow 31%
Sales of alternative powertrain vehicles in South Korea during the first half of 2018 grew 31.2% year on year (y/y) to 53,778 units, reports Yonhap News Agency citing industry data. The figure includes hybrid and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which accounted for 7% of the total sales of cars in South Korea. The highest-selling vehicle during the period was the Hyundai Grandeur Hybrid with sales of 12,029 units.
Significance: South Korea has recorded a substantial growth in sales of electrified vehicles over the past few years. According to the news report, South Korea sold 97,813 alternative fuel cars in 2017, compared with just 28,807 units in 2013. The contribution of environmentally friendly cars to overall car sales in the country has increased from 2.2% in 2013 to 6.4% last year. The growth came on the back of positive demand for new models as well as favourable policies by the country's government. The government has committed to spend KRW150 billion (USD133.7 million) in assisting the research and development of alternative-powertrain vehicles during 2016-20. It aims to have about 820,000 hybrids, 200,000 EVs, 50,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and 9,000 fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) on the country's roads by 2020. The government has been putting in place policies to increase the adoption of alternative-powertrain vehicles through subsidy programmes and infrastructure initiatives. According to our light-vehicle powertrain forecasts, production of alternative-powertrain vehicles, including FCEVs, in South Korea will grow to 341,902 units in 2018, up from an estimated 245,105 units in 2017.
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