[THE INVESTOR] Tesla Korea, local unit of the US luxury electric vehicle maker, is set to open its 10th high-speed supercharger station in the country, with aims to install 14 by the year-end.
The carmaker on Nov. 14 said it has almost completed installing a charger at Lakai Sandpine Resort in the port city of Gangneung, Gangwon Province, which will go active in early December. It plans to add four more stations this year -- at Lotte Hotel Jeju, De Terrace in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province; Lotte Resort in Sokcho, Gangwon Province; and Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul.
Earlier this year, Jonathan McNeill, president of global sales and services at Tesla, pledged the EV maker will open 14 stations in Korea, including at least six in Seoul, in an attempt to speed up the expansion of charging infrastructure.
“The speed of charging infrastructure expansion in Korea is unprecedented compared to other countries,” said Tesla Korea. “We will continue to install more supercharger stations and destination chargers to help consumers conveniently drive our cars without charging concerns.”
Since its debut earlier this year, Tesla has installed more than 100 low-speed destination chargers in major hotels, department stores and restaurants. It plans to operate 120 across the country by the year-end.
The local unit plans to ramp up expansion next year, especially after the Korean government’s green light for generous EV subsidies in September. The Ministry of Environment approved Model S 90D, its first vehicle sold here, to receive EV incentives that could range from 14 million won (US$12,524) to 24 million won, including the subsidies by local governments that vary.
Two other trim levels that are available in the country -- Model S 75D and 100D -- are still being reviewed for final approval, the company said.
Next year, Tesla plans to have 25 supercharger stations and 150 destination chargers across the country.
It also plans to launch Model X SUV in Korea to expand the lineup. The Model X too will be eligible to receive government subsidy after it passes the certification process.
As for its much-touted Model 3, it will take a while to arrive here due to the large volume of preorders, estimated at around 500,000 worldwide. The local unit expects the affordable sedan to arrive here in 2019.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)