By on June 20, 2016

Tesla Supercharger With Model S At Tesla Dealership

South Koreans are used to having a bunch of Americans hanging around, but the arrival of a group of Tesla employees won’t be welcomed by executives at Hyundai.

Tesla wants into the South Korean marketplace, and just posted job listings for sales and engineering positions in the Asian country, Bloomberg reports. Already registered in South Korea, the automaker plans to open up an office in Seoul and hire a recruiter based out of Japan.

For the country’s largest domestic automaker, Tesla’s expansion plans are ill-timed. Hyundai is busy marketing its Prius-fighting Ioniq hybrid in its home country, with plans to offer a plug-in version later this year. A 110-mile EV version of the Ioniq is also on the way.

Though Hyundai was reluctant to get into the electrification game, it’s now planning a host of hybrids, plug-ins and EVs, with the company’s Kia division getting in on the electric action, too. In response to the upcoming Tesla Model 3, Hyundai recently announced plans to market an EV with 200 miles of range by 2018.

Electric vehicles make up less than one percent of South Korea’s vehicle market, but competition within that razor-thin slice of pie will be fierce. Tesla has its sights set squarely on South Korea for its $35,000 (U.S) Model 3, and Hyundai has no plans to surrender that ground to an upstart American.

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8 Comments on “Mr. Musk Goes to Seoul: Tesla Gets Ready to Tap South Korea for Sales...”

  • avatar

    EV makes the most sense in small countries with political will power to change.

    Forget “Global Warming” rhetoric.

    Whether it’s true or not, EV makes a lot of sense for countries with strong energy production, populations that don’t need to travel extremely long distances regularly and infrastructure on this level.

    South Korea has slightly more than 15% Nuclear energy production and less than 3% renewables.

    The bulk of their energy (over 60%) is Fossil Fuels.

    I think they could make moves towards renewables and EV proliferation, but the biggest issue will be standardizing a “pay-for-charge” method.

    Right now I can take a Model S or X to the JFK supercharger and charge for free. But the Model 3 may not be able to.

    Whatever Hyundai and Kia decide to crank out will set the tone for the future of EV there.

    TESLA will just be hopping on their bandwagon.

    Probably better left in Hyundai’s hands.

    After all, the Genesis and Sonata are BOTH better “Cars” than the Model S.

    Tesla’s ace-in-the-hole is their platform which can literally accept any design be stapled atop it. A crossover, a car, a truck, an icecream truck, a White van filled with speakers…etc.

    • 0 avatar

      Only if they have the electrical grid to support them.

      From Yahoo News this morning:

      “With record-setting heat and air conditioning demand expected in Southern California, the state’s power grid operator issued a so-called “flex alert,” urging consumers to conserve energy to help prevent rotating power outages – which could occur regardless.”

      And this is why it’s just plain stupid to buy an EV if you have to depend on the thing as a primary mode of transportation. Or a vehicle you must rely on to make a living – like a work truck. Or a police car.

  • avatar

    As long as he only offers them in black, silver and white, he’s golden – Korea is a perfect market for EVs.

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