Tesla is Getting a Boost in Korea

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Tesla’s Model S [Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.]

Tesla cars are called many things: visionary, beautiful, dependable, and incredibly expensive. But soon, Koreans will find Teslas will be a bit more affordable.

Although Tesla began selling its cars in Korea this past March, their cars have, until now, not been eligible for a pre-existing electric vehicle subsidy. The subsidy, worth up to the equivalent of $23,000, only applied to cars that could charge to 100% in under ten hours using a standard charger. These conditions meant that only a small number of short range electric cars would qualify for the subsidy.

In contrast, Tesla’s high-end luxury sedan, the Model S, can charge in under ten hours, but only with the use of a higher-power charger.

On July 18, however, Korea’s Ministry of Environment stated that it would be eliminating the stringent charging requirements, opening up the subsidy to Tesla buyers. While the change hasn’t taken effect yet, Tesla can expect a bump in sales of the Model S, which is the only Tesla car currently available on the Korean market, especially given that the subsidy could cover nearly one-fifth of the top-rated car’s sticker price.

With the enviable design and impressive performance of its electric vehicles, Tesla has redefined the once-quaint expectations of what an electric car could be and driven the spread of electric vehicle chargers in many other countries. Tesla’s potential success in Korea could provide a boon to Korean car companies looking to expand their domestic electric vehicle market.

By T. Kim