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Electric vehicles' share increases in S. Korean car market

All Headlines 11:42 June 06, 2018

SEOUL, June 6 (Yonhap) -- The share of electric vehicles (EV) in the sales of eco-friendly vehicles in South Korea has surpassed 20 percent for the first time this year on the back of a wide range of lineups and improved charging infrastructure, industry data showed Wednesday.

A total of 5,542 EVs were sold in the first four months, taking up 22.7 percent of the eco-friendly car market, according to the data compiled by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The share of EVs in the eco-friendly sector, which also includes hybrids, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen-fueled cars, first crossed the 10 percent threshold in 2016.

In contrast, the share of hybrid cars, which combines a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor, fell from 81.7 percent in December to 76.2 percent in April.

Industry watchers say more consumers are opting for EVs as automakers are adding fully electric lineups with longer driving range and the government is expanding charging infrastructure nationwide.

In April, Hyundai Motor Co. released the electric version of its Kona subcompact SUV. GM Korea plans to introduce the Chevrolet Bolt EV, and Kia Motors will launch its crossover Niro's EV SUV lineup this year.

"The domestic EV market is seen as moving from an introduction phase to a maturity stage," an industry official said. "This year will an important turning point as a series of competitive new models are set to come to the market."

An international electric vehicle exhibition is held on Jeju Island on May 2, 2018. (Yonhap)

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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