Fully-electric vehicle exports jump 70% in 2020
Exports of fully-electric vehicles increased 65.9 percent to $3.9 billion last year, surpassing exports of hybrid electric vehicles for the first time.
Among all electric cars exported, 54.7 percent were fully-electric, which are powered only by rechargeable batteries.
For electric vehicles (EV) of all kinds, including fully-electric, hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, exports rose 19.3 percent to $7.14 billion, according to a report from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) on Friday.
Exports of hybrid electric vehicles declined 5.9 percent on-year to $2.53 billion.
During the same period, exports of all types of cars, including cars powered by internal combustion engines, shrank by 13.1 percent to $37.41 billion, as the world shifts to greener cars.
The share of electric cars in the country’s total car exports has been increasing gradually from 2017’s 8.6 percent to 2018’s 10.5 percent, 2019’s 13.9 percent and last year’s 19.1 percent.
“After the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for internal combustion engine-cars is quickly shifting to greener cars in line with strengthened environmental regulations by governments globally,” the KITA report noted.
Governments, especially in Europe and China, are offering incentives and expanding recharging infrastructure to increase sales of EVs and to produce more EVs, the report said.
Korea’s battery-only EVs were mostly sold to Europe.
While Europe takes only 20 percent of Korea’s overall car exports, it takes 68 percent of the country’s EV exports.
Exports of battery-only EVs to Britain rose 624.3 percent last year, to France by 112.2 percent and to Italy by 260.2 percent, according to the KITA report.
In terms of the amount of exports, Korea was the fourth largest battery electric car exporter in the world through the third quarter of last year, after Germany, the United States and Belgium, keeping its rank from 2019, KITA said citing latest data from market tracker Trademap. For all types of electric vehicles, Korea ranked fifth after Germany, Japan, Belgium and the United States through the third quarter of 2020. Japan leads the race in hybrid electric cars.
“To effectively tackle the European market, one of the fastest growing markets for environmentally friendly cars, [Korean companies] need to observe different government environmental regulations, incentives as well as market trends to offer competitive [EV] models at the right time,” said researcher Kim Kyung-hoon at the Institute for International Trade of the KITA.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]