Can You Guess The Top-Selling Electric Car In South Korea? (Hint: Samsung Is A Partner)

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

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.

Renault SM3 ZE

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.

Green Car Congress provides more:

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.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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