A total of 13,261 imported electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in Korea in the first nine months of 2020, said the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association on Oct. 18. The figure is 8.5 times more than the 1,552 units sold during the same period of 2019. In September alone, 2,237 units were sold, nearly 10 times the 229 recorded in the same month a year ago.
In particular, Tesla accounted for the lion’s share by selling 2,056 units, or 92 percent of the imported EVs sold in September. Audi's e-tron Electric 55 Quattro came in second with 601 units while the Renault ZOE sold 128 units in the same period. Peugeot's e-208 and SUV-electric vehicle e-2008 were sold 34 and 43 units, respectively while Mercedes-Benz's EQC 4MATIC sold 23 units.
On the other hand, homemade EV sales have remained sluggish. From January to September 2020, sales of homemade EVs in Korea totaled 13,505 units, down 41 percent from 22,842 units in the same period of 2019. Hyundai Motor's IONIQ and Kona, Kia Motors Corp.'s Niro and Soul all reported drops in sales, as did the Chevrolet Volt EV and the Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E.
In particular, a recent series of fire accidents involving the Kona EV are expected to boost demand for imported EVs for some time.