Shinsegae, one of the nation’s largest department store franchises, is contemplating expanding further into the electric vehicle charging station market, according to industry sources on Monday.
The company is considering setting up charging stations at Shinsegae department stores in Seoul on top of deploying them at its retailer Emart.
Last week, Shinsegae said it would establish EV charging stations at 60 of the Emart locations that it operates. Emart is currently the biggest discount store brand in Korea.
A Tesla Model S sedan, an electric car, is being charged at the Tesla Supercharger station in California. (Bloomberg)
The company partnered with BMW Korea and POSCO ICT, an affiliate of steelmaker POSCO, to build the infrastructure for the charging stations. Under the plan, E-mart provides the space for the stations to be set up, while POSCO ICT handles the installation and operation.
BMW Korea, meanwhile, will help stoke demand with its new electric vehicle, the i3.
The first station will open on April 24 when the i3 is launched here. With membership cards, other electric vehicles such as Renault Samsung’s SM3 Z.E., Kia’s Soul EV and Chevrolet’s Spark EV may also charge at the stations, a Shinsegae official said.
“When we suggested the idea of charging stations to Shinsegae, they willingly accepted it,” a BMW Korea official said. “It is a big help for us as the nation’s retail conglomerate takes part in eco-friendly business.”
Shinsegae, however, denied speculations that the stations would expand to Shinsegae Department stores.
“It may be possible in the future but we are not pursuing the plan at this present time,” an official said.
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com