Motivational incentives for electric car purchase South Korea 2019

The main incentive for South Korean consumers to purchase an electric car were the availability of tax rebates and subsidies on electric car purchases, according to a survey conducted by Rakuten Insight in June 2019. This was the top incentive and chosen by over 77 percent of all respondents. Another 43 percent replied that the presence of charging stations near their homes and workplaces would motivate them to buy an electric car. Other top incentives chosen by the respondents were also related to benefits for driving an electric car, such as other subsidies, or special parking or lanes.

Growth of green vehicles

In 2019, more than 600 thousand hybrid, electric, and hydrogen cars were registered with the authorities in Korea. Around ninety thousand were electric cars. Although the absolute numbers of these so-called green cars are small compared to the more than twenty million cars that burn gasoline or diesel as fuel and make up the majority of all registered cars, the share of green cars has increased steadily over the past six years. There were less than 1,500 electric cars registered in 2013, but the number of registered electric cars increased by more than 61 times since then.

Why consumers choose electric cars

There are two primary drivers that are pushing the transition to environmentally friendly automobiles, the so-called green cars. One is changing public perception of environmental issues; the deadly particulate matter coming from China and polluted Korean skies, known as “fine dust”. Global warming and the increasingly hotter summers of the past several years are other issues that are stimulating greater public interest and concern in the environment. At the same time, the Korean government is implementing various policies to stimulate the domestic market for electric cars and other green vehicles. Electric cars are unfortunately quite expensive when compared to traditional automobiles, so the government is providing subsidies of up to eight million South Korean won (approximately 6,600 U.S. dollars) for the purchase of electric cars. This does not even count the separate subsidies and financial benefits that cities and provinces are providing to their residents who choose to drive electric cars. The government is also financing the construction of additional electric charging stations.

Main incentives that would motivate consumers to purchase an electric car in South Korea as of June 2019

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Release date

July 2019


South Korea

Survey time period

June 7 to June 30, 2019

Number of respondents

10,151 respondents

Age group

16 years and older

Special properties

4,507 female and 5,724 male respondents

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

Original question:
"What incentives would motivate you to purchase an electric car? (up to three answers allowed)"

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Statistics on "Electric vehicles in South Korea"

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