South Korea‘s state-run utility provider Korea Electric Power Corporation said Tuesday that it will begin operating its 1,560 electric vehicle charging stations in the nation starting on July 3.
Of the total 1,560 EV charging stations, 569 are public charging stations that are available at Kepco’s operations center and public parking spaces, while the rest 989 are stations that are installed at apartment complexes, the company said.
Kepco, which is currently the nation‘s largest provider of EV charging stations, plans to install 500 public stations and 6,000 stations at apartment complexes by the end of the year, with an investment worth some 140 billion won ($123 million).
The number of public stations is expected to increase to between 2,500 and 3,000 in 2017, the Ministry of Environment said.
The government has planned to increase the number of public charging stations to 3,000 stations by 2020 and 6,000 stations by 2025, according to the ministry. Kepco will be responsible for building 50 percent of the target numbers.
“Kepco’s role is very important in the EV industry by building the infrastructure,” said Kim Pil-soo, a professor of automotive engineering at Daelim University.
Expanding charging stations, however, will only be the groundwork, Kim said, pointing out that the next issue to tackle would include keeping regular maintenance of such facilities as well as connecting the operation and information of all stations currently under separate management of the government and private enterprises.
As part of such efforts, Kepco said that it will release a smartphone app which allows users to search for Kepco’s charging stations and related information, as well as other stations across the country, which will also be available on the website evc.kepco.co.kr.
By Shim Woo-hyun (email@example.com)