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EV sales almost double this year in Korea

An electric vehicle is connected to Hi-Charger, an exclusive ultrahigh speed charger developed by Hyundai Motor. (Hyundai Motor)
An electric vehicle is connected to Hi-Charger, an exclusive ultrahigh speed charger developed by Hyundai Motor. (Hyundai Motor)

Over 71,000 units of electric vehicles have been sold in South Korea so far this year, nearly doubling the previous year’s record, a market data showed.

According to Korea Automotive Technology Institute, the accumulated domestic sales of EVs up to the end of September came in at 71,006 units, compared to the 36,268 units sold during the corresponding period last year.

The domestic sales volume places South Korea as No. 7 globally, Katech said.

The world’s No. 1 market, up to the third quarter this year, was China with 1.76 million EV units sold, followed by the United States and Germany at 270,000 units and 240,000 units.

By market share, EVs took 5.5 percent of the total number of new cars sold in Korea. Aside from the European countries which are leading in EV distribution, this is the highest after China’s 9.4 percent, and is higher than the United States’ 2.3 percent, the think tank added.

By company, Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group stands as the world’s No. 5 seller of EVs, behind No. 1 Tesla and No. 3 Volkswagen, Katech said. The second and fourth place was taken by Chinese automotive companies, SAIC Motor and BYD.

Hyundai Group’s two affiliates, Hyundai Motor and Kia, launched a number of new electric cars this year, including the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, and the Genesis G80e and GV60.

Korean battery providers are also ranked highly in terms of supply volume in the global market, as they are moving aggressively to expand businesses, Katech said, citing data from SNE Research.

LG Energy Solutions is maintaining its position as No. 2 after CATL to supply 42,152 megawatt hours of batteries as of the end of third quarter this year, while SK Innovation held on to its No. 5 ranking with 7,887 MWh.

With the market for electric car components also growing, Korean auto parts makers are also seen to be expanding their businesses to adopt the changing trend, Katech said.

Citing data from Strategy Analytics, Katech said the global electric car parts market was valued at $303.3 billion in 2020, and it is anticipated to grow to over $400 billion by 2024.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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