The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in South Korea announced that 55,756 EVs were registered in the country in 2018. Although they are far from dominating national sales of passenger cars yet, the number of registered EVs has skyrocketed (118%) compared to the previous year (25,593, 2017).
One Satisfying Option
The actual owners of EVs say they are quite satisfied. Various tax discounts make an EV efficient. Its use implies considerable amount of savings in circulation, tolls, parking, etc. Plus, one of the biggest savings is the cost of fuel.
Hardwares of an EV are also attractive – improved ranges on a single charge, great acceleration, minimal aerodynamic noise, etc.
Someone who has been a SOUL Booster owner for 3 months said, “It is a very quite and smooth ride, especially when you have young kids or go on a long journey often”, and another owner of Niro EV said, “It is economical, plus the driving is so much fun.”
As mentioned above, EVs are not just cars that are eco-friendly or cost efficient any longer. Constant advancement has made them pretty attractive. Which EV to choose, then?
Range On a Single Charge
The first thing you should check is the ‘All Electric Range (range on a single charge, AER)’. It is true that the number of EV charging stations are not enough yet, so AER becomes even more important, especially when you want to use it for long journeys.
Second-generation EVs have much greater AER than first-generation EVs do. Tesla Model S, Hyundai Kona Electric, KIA Soul Booster EV, Niro EV, and Chevrolet Bolt EV boast 380 kilometers of range on a single charge. Especially, Kona Electric (around $40,000)
Can run up to 406 km on a single charge, making it more competitive when compared with $80,000 EV, Tesla Model S.
Efficiency, the Essence of Electric Vehicle
Electric vehicles offer large cost savings over traditional gasoline-burning vehicles. Miles per gallon for electric vehicles (MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent) places a value on your car’s energy efficiency. Just like regular MPG shows how far a car will travel on one gallon of gas, MPGe shows how far a vehicle will drive on 33.7 kWh of electricity, the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline.
From its first model year, the Ioniq Electric has been the EPA’s most efficient vehicle – including all model years and all fuel types – with a rated fuel economy of 136 MPGe. This means that Ioniq Electric is overwhelmingly more energy efficient than conventional combustion engines.
*Though not officially reported, 2019 Facelift Hyundai Ioniq Electric came with the same MPGe of the previous model (Combined: 6.3km/kWh, City: 6.8km/kWh, Highway: 5.7km/kWh).
Kia Soul Booster EV(5.4km/kWh) and Niro EV(5.3km/kWh) had similar MPGe with Kona Electric (5.6km/kWh)
Specialized Features of Electric Vehicles
AER or MPGe was the stat that only EVs have. However, EVs are also, vehicles. Early EVs had shorter range, making them only short distance city vehicles. But for a significant advancement of their range, EVs are now being used just as Internal combustion vehicles. So, just like we check every feature thoroughly when we buy those conventional cars, we should do the same when we buy EVs, too.
Hyundai and Kia EVs, which take up more than 90% of Korean domestic EV market, boast lavish features that can even challenge those of ICEs. Speaking of which, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Soul Booster, and Niro EV all come with Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Highway Driving Assist (HDA), not to mention that each model has its own convenience feature.
EV, When to Buy?
Government launching a plan to subsidize the purchase of EVs is one of the key factors. However, recent announce say that it will start to slash the total amount of subsidies, instead broadening the number of target vehicles. There is a possibility that the whole incentives could be eliminated by 2022.
So, having relatively advanced second-generation EVs, now is the right time so you can still get your incentives.