The Republic of Korea (Korea) has policies for promoting clean and low-carbon vehicles. Since 2009, the Korean government has made plans for promoting green cars and low-carbon vehicles, including hybrid and electric vehicles, clean diesel cars, and fuel cell vehicles.
The number of registered vehicles in Korea has increased steadily from 530,000 in the 1980s to 18,440,000 in 2011. This has also led to increased air pollution. Among OECD members, Korea ranked 6th in emissions, but 1st in the rate increase of emissions. The Korean Government estimates the high social costs due to air pollution around 10 trillion KRW (US$ 9.3 billion, or €7 billion) by 2020.
One of Korea’s policies to overcome the emissions problem is the promotion of electric vehicles (EVs) as cleaner transportation. Korea’s goal is to supply 1 million EVs to drive on Korean roads by 2020 and emerge as a global “Top 4” EV powerhouse.
Korea has the following strategy for promoting EVs:
In phase 1, from 2010 to 2012, Korea’s government established the EV market centered on the public sector. In this period, the government provided purchase subsidies, charger installation support, and fostered eight EV preferential promotion cities, which have received special support for EV charging infrastructure and related initiatives.
In phase 2, from 2013 to 2015, the national government has been systematizing private sector promotion support. The support includes various tax benefits (consumption tax, sales and registration tax, a two-year reduction in tollgate fees that are assessed on vehicle purchases, etc.), bonus support depending on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the provision of incentives for EVs such as discounts on congestion fees, reduced highway tolls, and parking spaces exclusive to EVs.
In phase 3, from 2016 to 2020, the goals are to popularize EVs by diversifying the vehicle types, expand the private market, and foster the industry-supported creation of an EV charging service market where EV charging is offered as part of a package with car sharing and gas station services.