Long-range electric vehicles from Tesla and General Motors will finally debut in the South Korean market this year, reports in the country’s local media have revealed.
Currently the market in South Korea is dominated by the local automakers who are making short-range models and experts are of the opinion that long-range EVs from Tesla and GM will help galvanize the budding local EV market.
GM Korea is expected to bring its Bolt EV to South Korea in March or April 2017 and local media claims that the EV will prove to be a game changer and tremendously boost the local EV market. Bolt EV can travel up to 383 kilometers on a single charge and that would be the highest for any EV in the South Korean market. While local price sin the country are yet to be announced, EV analysts believe that GM will price the car at around 30 million won (US$26,000) range in a bid to attract price-conscious motorists.
Tesla will also be ploughing the South Korean EV market by bringing its own vehicles to the market and it is most likely that the Model S 90 D with a range of 473 km on a single charge could be the first vehicle from Tesla in the country. The pricing of Tesla Model S 90 D in the US is around $90,000, but there’s no indication about the sales price in Korea.
In addition, Tesla is expected to launch the Model 3, its new, more affordable take on the electric car, in South Korea as early as next year. The Model 3 carries a price tag of $35,000 in the U.S. and can go more than 346 km on a full charge.
Preparing for its entry into South Korea, Tesla opened its first local showroom at Starfield Hanam, a mega shopping mall operated by the Shinsegae Group east of Seoul, in early September. It also plans to have 25 charging facilities within the first half of next year at different retailers operated by Shinsegae.
Industry experts said the long-range models of GM and Tesla will surely appeal to motorists in South Korea, which still has EVs with a range of less than 200 km.