South Korean Government to Operate 300 Electric Vehicles during 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

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300 electric vehicles that are manufactured through South Korean technology will be used at 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that will have more than 5 billion viewers globally.

Although this is a public behavior, vitalization of related industries is expected as this is the single biggest demand for electric vehicles in South Korea’s history so far.

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On the 26th, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) signed off on an agreement that will have MOTIE purchase 300 electric vehicles that will be used for 2018 Winter Olympics at The Plaza Hotel Seoul along with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and electricity public enterprises. After purchasing them for business purposes, they will be used by organizing committee during the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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According to an agreement, KEPCO and electricity public enterprises will invest fund to purchase 300 electric vehicles during Paralympic period (February to April in 2018) and 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. They are also planning to install 20 rapid charging facilities so that there isn’t any inconvenience of using electric vehicles around Pyeongchang during the Olympics.

With Minister Ju Hyeong-hwan (6th from the left) of MOTIE is watching, Director Lee Hee-beom of Pyeongchang Winter Olympics' Organizing Committee (5th from the left) and President Cho Hwan-ik (7th from the left) of KEPCO are holding an agreement. (Provided by MOTIE)

With Minister Ju Hyeong-hwan (6th from the left) of MOTIE is watching, Director Lee Hee-beom of Pyeongchang Winter Olympics’ Organizing Committee (5th from the left) and President Cho Hwan-ik (7th from the left) of KEPCO are holding an agreement. (Provided by MOTIE)

Electric vehicles will be purchased by KEPCO during first half of next year and transferred over to organizing committee right before start of the 2018 Olympics. KEPCO will purchase about 220 electric vehicles that will be used to replace company vehicles in2 018 and 2019 and rest of 60 vehicles will be purchased by power subsidiaries and Korea Electric Power KDN.

This is the biggest amount of electric vehicles that is ordered by a single organization in South Korea and it is larger than the amount of electric vehicles that KEPCO possesses at 260. These electric vehicles will be collected after competition ends and will be used to replace any worn-out company vehicles.

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About 20 charging facilities will be installed so that there isn’t any inconvenience. KEPCO and organizing committee will have additional meetings and decide on the actual size of charging facilities that will be installed at stadiums, athletes’ villages, supporting facilities (organizing committee, media village and others), hotels, airports, terminals and others.

MOTIE is planning to utilize this Olympics as an opportunity to let the world know about South Korea’s electric vehicle industry and new energy industries. Public enterprises will lead demands for electric vehicles and induce expansion of related new energy industries such as ESS (Energy Storage Service) and others with electric vehicles at the center. KEPCO is planning to contribute in increasing demands for electric vehicles by replacing company vehicles with all electric vehicles for 2 years after the Olympics ends.

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MOTIE and KEPCO are going to speed up process of establishing charging infrastructures by supporting 2018 Winter Olympics.

They are going to especially carry out decisive and preemptive investments for establishing charging infrastructures at apartments, public places, parking structures and others. Also through public participation, they are going to install 30,000 chargers (open-type charging stations) at 4,000 apartments and increase number of charging stations to 300 in entire South Korea with Seoul and Jeju at the center.

“Electric vehicles are future transportation methods for generations with climatic changes and major parts of new energy industries.” said Minister Ju Hyeong-hwan of MOTIE. “We are going to promote electric vehicle industry as major exporting industry for next generations by securing world’s best competitive edge in electric vehicles and establishing charging infrastructures and accelerating in technical developments to develop futuristic electric vehicles.

Staff Reporter Cho, Jeonghyeong | jenie@etnews.com

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