Auto associations ask government to slow shift to EVs

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Auto associations ask government to slow shift to EVs

Three associations representing Korea’s auto industry asked the government to limit the distribution of electric vehicles (EVs) in Korea, citing the need to protect the industry that is currently still focused on internal combustion engine vehicles.
 
The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA), Korea Auto Industries Coop. Association and Federation of Korea Metal Workers’ Trade Unions submitted the opinion to the Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality Tuesday.
 
Such concerns derive from the commission's recent announcement that it would raise its greenhouse emission reduction goal from 26.3 percent to 40 percent by 2030 as part of efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
 
“If the reduction goal is raised to 40 percent, the accumulated number of EVs that has to be distributed by 2030 will go up from 3.6 million to 4.5 million, which will put a dent in Korea’s auto industry that is concentrated on internal combustion engines and hinder its transition to EVs,” said a statement from KAMA on Tuesday.
 
“The speed needs to slow down. There needs to be protection for the auto-related workforce, auto parts suppliers and more preparation is needed to establish a manufacturing environment for EVs in the country.”
 
The associations also added that aside from Hyundai Motor and Kia, the remaining automakers don't have concrete plans to manufacture EV models in Korea, which means that the raised goal will push them to import EVs from overseas.
 
"This will downsize the manufacturing of internal combustion engine vehicles in Korea, which will have bad effects on parts suppliers and consequently trigger employment instability in the auto industry," KAMA said.
 
Korea is only able to produce a maximum of 3 million EVs by 2030 considering the time needed to develop auto parts and make facilities investment, according to the letter submitted to the commission.
 
“If the objective exceeds the figure, the remaining quantity will need to be imported,” the letter said, according to KAMA. 
 
The letter asked for the goal to be lowered and called for more support for auto parts suppliers to upgrade their facilities for EVs.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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