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Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro EV, & Chevy Bolt Dominate South Korea Electric Vehicle Sales

The South Korean electric vehicle market doesn’t get the most attention, but it is bubbling up, with 2% of passenger vehicle sales in the country now EV sales. Similar to the USA, though, the market is dominated by just a few models.

The South Korean electric vehicle market doesn’t get the most attention, but it is bubbling up, with 2% of passenger vehicle sales in the country now EV sales. Similar to the USA, though, the market is dominated by just a few models — locally produced (or mostly locally produced) models.

In particular, the Hyundai Kona EV2019 CleanTechnica Car of the Year — is clearly dominant at #1, while the Kia Niro EV has a solid grasp on #2 and the Chevy Bolt has #3 locked in.

As you can see in the chart above, according to data provided by EV Volumes, the Hyundai Kona EV has seen 12,135 deliveries in 2019 (January–October), the Kia Niro EV 6,098, and the Chevy Bolt 3,013.

While 2% sounds okay at this stage of the EV industry, it’s not superb, and Jose Pontes points out that growth has slowed and was sitting at only 10% year over year in October.

That’s just among the battery-electric vehicles. While I think hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a big dead end, the Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell also has 3,207 vehicles registered in the country this year.

You may be wondering about the Tesla Model 3 at this point. The first Model 3 delivery boat headed to South Korea was reportedly sent off at the end of October and vehicles landed at the end of November. We’ll see how much traction the world’s #1 best selling electric vehicle (by far) gets in South Korea. Being a very tech-focused country, one would expect some solid demand and sales there. If volume is high enough, we may need to pull up the data for broader premium-vehicle sales or even the list of the top 20 models overall.

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