[Letters] Making Korea’s electric car dream a reality

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[Letters] Making Korea’s electric car dream a reality

Recently, our government announced a plan to become the world’s fourth largest green carmaker. According to the plan, the time line for electric vehicles (EV) has been moved up to 2011 from 2013. As other major automakers compete to become the world’s No. 1 company on the green car market, it seems to be a timely reaction. Until EVs come into wide use, there are still many problems to be solved. What should our government do to help our automakers?

First of all, in order to commercialize electric cars it is important to establish the infrastructure for charging. Considering EVs’ charging time, charging stations must be located at public places such as schools, apartments and department stores. In addition, convenient payment systems are needed after charging. A smart grid can solve these problems. Fortunately, our country was selected as the leading country in smart grid technology at the G-20 summit held in Pittsburgh in September. We have to use this chance to raise global competitiveness in charging infrastructure.

Secondly, our government needs to increase R&D investment to lower the risks for our automakers. For example, the battery of EVs is the main reason for their high price and technical troubles such as a long charging time and a short running distance between charges. Active investments can resolve these technical problems while reducing EVs’ price. A tax subsidy is also a useful way to compensate for high prices, although temporary.

Lastly, regulatory revision should be completed before EVs are running on the real road. According to the regulation, an EV’s engine displacement determines whether it can run on a specific roadway or not. Regulatory revision is mandatory, considering that EVs do not have a combustion engine.

Electric cars are a change of the century. In the near future, the leader in electric vehicles will be the global leader of the auto industry. That is why the issue is causing fierce competition between automakers. With the government’s systematic and aggressive support, we expect our automakers to achieve this challenging goal.

Wang Ik-ju, Dongmyung Middle School
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