Thursday, May 19, 2016

S. Koreans prefer Tesla over local brand EVs

In a recent survey reported by Korea Herald and conducted by Blind - a social app provider that operates anonymous bulletin boards for employees of a specific company or an industry - involving 164 members of its auto section, Koreans expressed their pessimisms about the pace of electrification of their automotive industry. Because this platform is encrypted and approves memberships via the applicant’s company email address only , the results are likely more accurate than if members had to reveal their identities.

Roughly 53.7 percent of respondents said fully-electric vehicles would not become a general trend in the nation’s car market even in the future. The lack of charging facilities (53.7 percent) and high car prices (34.4 percent) were cited as the key issues hindering the wider adoption of EVs there.

What was surprising is their preference to pick Tesla (37.8 percent) over the nation’s largest Hyundai-Kia duo (29.3 percent) as "the car maker that would lead the upcoming era of electric mobility."

And when asked about their personal choice, more than half the respondents (51.2 percent) said they would "consider a Tesla car if they were to buy an EV."
Tesla has recently confirmed it will roll out its flagship models Model X and Model S in South Korean by early 2017 thanks to a partnership with Korea Telecom KT, the largest telecom on the peninsula, which will see KT install telematic services in Tesla's vehicles. Due to the dominance of local duo Hyundai-Kia of the Korean market, Tesla was reluctant to invest in that market until it can guarantee a partner that can provide internet services to run its vehicles' software and updates. KT is seeking to develop navigation solutions customized for Tesla, whose navigation system is based on Google Maps, which is not compatible locally. This deal might also have to do with KT's robust plan to convert its idle public phone booths nationwide into EV charging stations and build 100,000 movable charging stations.
In addition, Tesla is poised to partner up with other Korean companies to deliver the Model 3: Hankook Tires for tires, Hanon Systems for its system modules, and LG for its Display 15-inch touchscreens. Tesla is even rumoured to add LG Chem, Samsung or SK Innovation to the list of battery suppliers for the Model 3.

Elon Musk even announced, before the Model 3 unveiling, that South Koreans will be able to order their new vehicle online from April 1st 2016.

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