[THE INVESTOR] US luxury electric car maker Tesla plans to install 14 high-speed supercharger stations across the country by the end of this year, according to its global sales head.
Jonathan McNeill, president of global sales and services at Tesla, announced the plans during his visit to Seoul on April 19.
“Tesla’s expectations on the Korean market are high,” McNeill was quoted as saying during an interview with local media outlets. “The size of the Korean economy is No. 11 globally, but when it comes to luxury cars it is the fifth largest market.”
“Korea is more important than the Japanese market that has a population of over 120 million,” he said adding that it is more dynamic.
“We are planning to build more Tesla superchargers than we did in Japan over the past three years. By end of this year, there will be at least 6 supercharger stations in Seoul and 14 across Korea.”
Tesla Korea said it will first install three supercharger stations at the InterContinental Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Gran Seoul Building in Jongno-gu and Tedin Resort in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, by June.
“The construction at the Grand InterContinental Hotel is almost complete,” a spokesperson from Tesla Korea told The Investor. “It will be completed before Tesla starts delivering Model S to customers in June.”
Tesla’s supercharger is about 10 times faster than its lower-speed destination chargers. It enables recharging the Model S 90D –- the first and only Tesla model available in Korea -- to 50 percent in about 20 minutes.
During McNeill’s latest visit to Korea, he met with Jeju Province Governor Woon Hee-ryong and discussed plans to build its showroom and possibly installing supercharger station in the resort island.
Tesla and Jeju government are planning to hold a meeting in May to discuss details of the automaker’s entry.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)