Government to cut fees for charging electric carsThe government will lower electricity vehicle charging fees by 44 percent starting today to encourage more drivers to purchase environmentally friendly vehicles.
Currently, drivers pay 313.1 won (26 cents) per 1 kilowatt an hour to charge their vehicles but the fee will be lowered to 173.8 won, the Ministry of Environment said. Electric-vehicle owners will able to drive 100 kilometers (62 miles) for 2,759 won, which is 24 percent cheaper than gasoline vehicle owners and 38 percent lower than the costs diesel drivers pay to travel the same distance.
“The discount on charging fees will vitalize the electric vehicle market and we will continue to come up with more measures to boost the market,” said Lee Chung-seop, vice minister of environment.
Electric-vehicle owners who travel 13,724 kilometers a year will pay 380,000 won for charging their vehicles, a lot cheaper when compared to 1.57 million won that gasoline vehicle owners pay and 1 million won of diesel car drivers. The data showed that Koreans drive 13,724 kilometers a year on average. Gasoline and diesel prices are based on Friday’s retail prices.
The government also signed a deal with BC Card to offer more discounts to people who charge electric vehicles through BC Card. Drivers can use either BC Card or Green Card that BC Card offers that give benefits to people purchasing environmentally friendly products. Green Card users can receive a 50 percent discount on charging fees, or up to 50,000 won a month, and regular BC Card users can save 30 percent, or up to 30,000 won a month.
The Environment Ministry also plans to increase the number of high-speed electric vehicle charging stations by 530 this year, 60 percent more than were built last year. The ministry’s budget for expanding the electric-vehicle market has increased nearly 80 percent compared to the previous year to 264.3 billion won.
Meanwhile, the Environment Ministry said major gas stations in metropolitan Seoul received five stars on quality tests. All six major gas station operators, including SK Energy, Hyundai Oilbank and S-Oil received the highest scores on inspections.
The government has been inspecting gas stations since 2006 to provide information to drivers while having companies work on improving their products’ qualities.
BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [firstname.lastname@example.org]