▲ Jeju's EV infrastructure is linked to its renewable energy industry, spearheaded by wind energy. Photo courtesy Renault-Samsung
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“This is not a hollow slogan or dream,” says Jae-Chan Park, secretary general of the Organizing Committee for the 2nd International Electric Vehicle Expo 2015. “Jeju EVs are the real thing.”
As Jeju works towards all vehicles being electric by 2030, IEVE 2015, March 6-15 at the ICC Jeju, Jungmun, is a major stepping stone in that direction.
Park only has to point to last year’s inaugural event which attracted a record 47,000 visitors, and with this set to almost double to around 80,000, the expo signals a bright future for Jeju as Korea’s EV hub and as a “beacon within Asia.”
“Last year, for example, 500 EVs were distributed, 50 percent of all EVs [distributed] in Korea ... And this year we are going to have 1,500 EVs distributed in the island with secured subsidies from the Ministry [of the Environment], again 50 percent of the national total.”
“We are really excited to be bringing together so many people who are really eager to not only see the products, but are interested in buying, and they can see the current trends in the industry — that is the beauty of the exposition,” said Park.
Economic boon and lifestyle changes
As last year, the most popular part of IEVE 2015 is expected to be the competition for the 1,500 EVs, each of which comes with up to 22 million won in subsidies and free home installation of charging equipment provided by the Ministry of the Environment.
▲ Jae-Chan Park is confident that Jeju can achieve its EV goals as IEVE 2015 approaches. Photo by Darren Southcott
“With the start of the public subscription program for 1,500 cars at the start of this expo, we will see a lot more excited participation from local community members and their families who want to see, touch and make a decision on their next purchase,” said Park.
IEVE 2015 is an integral part of the island’s carbon-free 2030 plans and officials are not only aiming for all vehicles to be electric by then, but all energy will be renewable, mostly from Jeju’s growing wind energy capacity. Park points out, however, that EVs will bring economic as well as environmental benefits to households.
“This expo is bringing new business potential and opportunities to Jeju over the long term [and] a new lifestyle in transportation, e-mobility, which is completely different from traditional lifestyles. So, in my view, the expo has great unknown business potential to various industries, not only in Jeju but across Korea and other countries.”
IEVE 2015 will showcase the latest products and services with plenty for EV enthusiasts to get excited about including BYD e6 taxis from China’s Warren Buffett-invested BYD Auto, and Lotus-inspired, made-in-England EVs from Detroit Electric.
In total, almost 70 corporations will participate including Renault-Samsung, Hyundai Motors, Kia Motors, GM Korea, and international representatives such as Winner and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), both from China, Germany’s BMW and Japan’s Nissan.
On the road to 2030
There is still a Hallasan-sized mountain to climb for Jeju to reach its goals, with around 300,000 vehicles on Jeju’s roads, but Park says this must be balanced by the industry’s impressive growth in a world where just 0.7 percent of cars are EVs.
“Even if we achieve just a few percent it is not a small figure at all considering the ambitious goal of carbon-free island 2030 ... [especially] if you see the increasing rate from 160 vehicles [distributed in 2013] to 500  and then to 1500 ; it is a lot, a very fast increase,” Park insists.
Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Kim Dae-hwan, concurs with Park, and told BusinessKorea that 5,000 EVs will be distributed in 2016, rising to 50,000 by 2017, a 70 percent increase on the original plans, with 119 e-buses, 1,000 e-taxis and 3,750 charging stations in a 300 billion won investment.
“Considering the current target of Seoul to increase the number of electric vehicles in the city to 50,000 by 2017, together we will usher in the era of 100,000 domestic electric vehicles in the future,” said Chairman Kim.
Park agrees that such high levels of private ownership are key, but he emphasizes that Jeju’s public transport fleet is also increasingly electric, with emission-free taxis already on the roads and e-buses to follow this year.
He thus extends a warm IEVE 2015 welcome to all and wants the world to know that Jeju really is EV trailblazing.
“Remember, EVs are not only new for the local community, but it is a new industry for almost everybody in the world. So, for Jeju to be the showcase of EVs in Korea, and probably the only single 100 percent EV exposition, is a great achievement.”
The 2nd International Electric Vehicle Expo (IEVE 2015)
-March 6 to 15, 2015, at ICC Jeju, Jungmun
-Over 80 companies in EV manufacturing and related industries and 80,000 visitors expected.
-Hosted by Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Ministry of Environment, The National Assembly New Renewable Energy Policy Research Forum,
and Jeju Special Self Governing Province.
-Organized by International Electric Vehicle Expo Organizing Committee
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