Foreign carmarkers moving to expand EV charging networks in South Korea

Car industry
Photo credit: Yonhap

Foreign car companies are pushing to introduce more electric vehicle (EV) chargers in South Korea to better compete in the country's growing EV market segment, Yonhap reports.

BMW Korea, which currently operates 1,119 EV chargers in the country, aims to nearly double the units to around 2,100 within the year.

The company plans to make new chargers compatible with all EVs and not just for BMW EV models. It estimates BMW chargers accounting for over 50 percent of all chargers offered by automakers in South Korea by the end of the year.

"Since launching our electric model i3 in 2014, BMW has played a pioneering role in expanding chargers in South Korea. We will continue to actively invest to provide EV customers with more convenient charging experiences," a BMW Korea official said.

Mercedes-Benz Korea is also moving to introduce a high-power charging network in South Korea by the end of 2024. The company plans to announce its investment plans for the envisioned charging network in the near future.

Volvo Car Korea seeks to invest 100 billion won (US$74.6 million) to establish six additional charging service centers in South Korea. The company currently operates 40 high-speed chargers and 61 slow chargers at 34 service centers.

Porsche Korea is also moving to expand its EV charging network to operate 250 AC chargers by 2025.

Such moves by foreign automakers come amid growth in imported EV sales in recent years. Imported EV sales amounted to 43,031 units last year, compared with 4,799 units in 2019.

Foreign models are also expanding their presence within the overall EV market in South Korea. Imported units accounted for 26.9 percent of all EV units sold in the country last year, up 3.5 percentage points from 2022.

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