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2016-01-21

Most Popular EV In Korea? Renault Samsung SM3 ZE



The most popular electric vehicle in South Korea is… the Renault Samsung SM3 ZE (alternately known as the Fluence ZE), according to recent reports.
The electric sedan has, to date, sold decently (good for the market, though perhaps not notably) — with more than 1767 units sold since the launch back in November 2013. Sales during 2015 were up a fair bit though, with 1043 units sold during the year.
Those numbers may not sound all that inspiring, but as far as electric vehicle (EV) sales in South Korea go, they’re pretty good. As it stands, roughly 1 out of every 3 EVs in the country is a Renault Samsung SM3 ZE.
RSM has reinforced its after-sales network by placing EV pilots in 16 cities, expanding EV after-sales centers to 226 locations and additionally establishing a battery repair center in Jeju Island. In Korea, incentives to buy an EV include an average 20 million KRW (US$16,600) subsidy (depending on the region), one free charger, as well as reduced parking costs & congestion charge.
The only mid-sized EV in Korea, RSM SM3 ZE has a single-charge range of up to 135 km (84 miles). In 2015, SM3 ZE was selected as both Korea’s official government vehicle and Seoul EV taxi. This year, RSM has provided more than 100 EV taxis (including 60 for Seoul city), introduced a taxi battery management service in Jeju, and is setting up additional mid-speed chargers near taxi garages and drivers’ cafeterias. SM3 ZE is manufactured in RSM’s Busan plant.
Considering that Hyundai is now (seemingly) beginning to take the EV sector seriously — and has the IONIQ hitting the market soon — one wonders if the SM3 ZE will be able to hold onto the top position for long.