JEJUDO ISLAND -- Renault Samsung Motors, which topped in sales of EVs in Korea last year, seeks to double the sales this year, the newly appointed chief executive said during a press day for the 3rd IEVE in Jejudo.
“We plan to sell 2,000 units of SM3 Z.E. in the domestic market this year and half of them will be supplied to Jejudo Island, an ideal test bed for EVs,” said Park Dong-hoon, CEO of French carmaker Renault’s Korean unit.
Renault Samsung’s marquee EV SM3 Z.E., which ranked No. 1 with sales of around 1,000 units in 2015, is expected to face tougher competition from Hyundai Motor’s incoming Ioniq EV this year.
A racing driver poses in front of Renault’s electric race car Renault SRT 01E before a test drive Thursday in a downtown area of Jejudo Island.(Renault Samsung)
Apart from SM3 Z.E., the company also has a plan to launch Twizy, its ultracompact four-wheel electric vehicle, this year as its second EV model. Twizy, which has already sold around 15,000 units in 40 countries, is still not available in Korea due to some regulatory issues.
“We will make sure to supply Twizy in the domestic auto market within this year by cooperating with relevant government officials,” Park said.
A day before the opening ceremony of the expo, the company wowed local residents by holding a racing exhibition with its electric race car Renault SRT 01E in a downtown area on the island. The event was developed through the joint efforts of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Governor Won Hee-ryong, who visited the headquarters of Renault last December after attending the Paris Climate Change Conference.
“I was impressed with the company’s efforts to make electric racing cars, and wanted to show the public to what extent electric cars can be developed,” Won said at the expo.
Renault SRT 01E, an official racing car of the world’s first fully electric racing series Formula E, can drive up to 220 kilometers per hour. It takes only three seconds to accelerate up to 100 kilometers per hour from standstill.
The carbon-free car features high-tech electric technologies, which include high-powered motor and battery, an energy-recovery brake system and carbon fiber.
“We are applying the latest technologies of the racing car into SME Z.E. series to improve their motor and battery performance,” said Jill Norman, vice president of Renault’s Asia Pacific region.
“I hope this road show can help Jejudo’s efforts to rais public awareness of electric vehicles,” he added.