LG to install EV charging stations at all its officesLG Electronics signed a contract on Tuesday with the Ministry of Environment to install free electric-vehicle charging stations at all its business operations in Korea, joining government efforts to build up infrastructure for electric cars and encourage the use of eco-friendly vehicles.
The ministry will subsidize installation of charging stations at parking lots in 16 LG business sites across the country, and all LG employees with electric vehicles will be able to charge their cars for free there. The locations include the company’s Seocho R&D Campus in southern Seoul and LG Digital Park in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi. In total, the parking lots can accommodate up to 11,000 cars, and the ministry will provide up to 4 million won ($3,480) for every 100 parking spots. That means all of the LG sites will have more than 100 charging stations.
LG Electronics is the first conglomerate to join the government’s campaign to build up electric-vehicle infrastructure. Many prospective buyers of electric cars have been reluctant to jump in out of fear that they might have difficulty finding a charging station when they run out of power while driving. The government has promised to add 530 fast chargers that can fully charge a car in 30 minutes in the Seoul metropolitan area and other big cities this year, up from 330 last year. The number of total charging stations in Korea is expected to increase from the current 1,202 to 2,000 by the year’s end, as the country tries to catch up to other advanced nations in electric vehicle infrastructure.
LG says the free charging stations will help its employees save a lot on expenses. It used the example of one worker who lives in Anyang, Gyeonggi, and commutes to LG Digital Park in Pyeongtaek, about 29 miles away. If he travels to work 20 days a month in a semi-compact electric vehicle, he will be able to save 2.28 million won a year compared to driving a standard gasoline vehicle and 1.51 million won compared to driving a compact car.
“Businesses offering electric charging stations will propel the supply of electric vehicles, since people spend the second-most amount of time at work after the home,” said Lee Jung-seob, a vice environment minister.
As a manufacturer, LG Electronics is banking on electric vehicle components to diversify its business from its bread-and-butter home appliances.
BY SEO JI-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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