The Korea Herald


Korea updates EV rules to meet market reality

Ministry crosses out outdated models, diversifies technical requirements

By Bae Hyunjung

Published : Jan. 14, 2021 - 17:06

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

South Korea has realigned its regulations for eco-friendly vehicles, in an effort to catch up with the quickly changing industry and global enhanced calls for reduced emissions, officials said Thursday.

While the discontinued low-speed electric vehicles were removed from the regulatory guidance, articles on microsized electric vehicles were added. Clauses on the maximum speed and travel range for a single charge have also been updated, reflecting the current level of technology.

The government put up a revision notice for the regulations on the qualifications of eco-friendly cars earlier this week, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

“The purpose of the revision is to adjust the industry standards in line with the Automobile Management Act and also to reflect the latest technology advancement,” the ministry said in a release.

One of the moves was to exclude the clauses related to low-speed electric vehicles, which are no longer active in the market, and to add new ones on microsized ones. Micro electric cars are required to run at a maximum speed of 60 kilometers per hour and have a minimum range of 55 kilometers on a single charge.

The per-charge requirements for high-speed electric vehicles were also adjusted in line with the diversified market portfolio.

Conventionally, all electric vehicles were required to provide 57 kilometers or more in travel range on a single charge, regardless of the model. Under new rules, sedans are required to meet the 150-kilometer standard, while trucks and vans should run at least between 70 and 100 kilometers, depending on their size.

The speed limit was also adjusted from the convetional 60 kilometers per hour to 100 kilometers per hour for sedans and vans and 80 kilometers per hour for trucks.

The energy efficiency standards, too, were subdivided to apply stricter rules on small cars.

While enhancing the definition of “environment-friendly electric vehicles,” the government has updated the application form to simplify the eco-friendly vehicle registration process, officials added.

“So far, there have been cases in which cars with relatively low energy efficiency levels were acknowledged as eco-friendly vehicles,” said a ministry official.

“The updated rules, however, will limit such recognition and consequent benefits to truly eco-friendly cars.”

The renewed regulations are to take effect immediately, but technical clauses and the energy efficiency rules have been given a grace period until end-June in order to reduce market confusion.

By Bae Hyun-jung (