Tesla has officially made the Model 3 available in South Korea, and the vehicle can prove to be very popular thanks to large incentives that bring the price down to as much as $ 26,000.
The carmaker originally had some problems in the Korean market .
Tesla buyers did not have access to the very generous electric vehicle incentive of up to 26 million won (~ $ 21,000 USD) provided by the government.
The reason for the ineligibility was quite ridiculous for anyone familiar with long-range electric vehicles. For an EV to qualify for the incentive, the electric car needed to be able to fully charge in less than 1
It gives unfair advantage to vehicles with small battery packs and shorter range. Vehicles with larger packages and longer reach, such as Tesla, can charge in less than 10 hours, but using Level 2 chargers or quick charge, not a standard outlet. Other EV incentive schemes, such as California's ZEV mandate, include charge rate restrictions, but they are nowhere near as restrictive as this Korean scheme.
When they realized the mistake back in July 2017, the government ruled the rule, and Tesla has done a little better in the market, but the Model S and Model X remain expensive.
With Model 3, the incentives will make a much bigger difference.
A spokesperson for Tesla told Korea Times that they started ordering Model 3 in the market this year:
"We receive orders for Model 3 through the company's website in Korea,"
Model 3 starts at $ 52 million won (~ $ 43,000 dollars) in the country, but with state grants worth 9 million won and even larger provincial subsidies, Model 3 could start at under 32 million won (~ $ 26,000 USD) with incentives.
South Korea is a relatively large car market with over 1 million passports cars sold per year, but it is dominated by domestic brands such as Hyundai and Kia.
Local grants have greatly accelerated EV sales in the country last year, and with the launch of new models, such as Tesla's Model 3, EV adoption is expected to be even greater in South Korea this year.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.