South Korea Stories July 19, 2017

Tesla launched in South Korea earlier this year despite being at a disadvantage against other electric vehicles. Tesla buyers don’t have access to the very generous electric vehicle incentive of up to 26 million won (~$23,000) offered by the government.

Now they have announced that they are removing the restriction that made Tesla’s vehicles ineligible. expand full story

South Korea Stories May 16, 2016

Late last year, we reported on comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel while they were in Korea for the Energy Korea Forum 2015. They said Tesla is “committed” to the South Korean market and that he sees a “great potential” there, but they didn’t want to commit to a timeline for an expansion in the country just yet.

Now it looks like the automaker is planning to enter the Korean market as soon as “early 2017” based on talks held with TK, South Korea’s second-biggest telecom company, to provide Tesla’s fleet with telematic services. expand full story

South Korea Stories November 20, 2015

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel were in Korea this week and they attended the Energy Korea Forum 2015. Local South Korean news reported on comments made by Straubel during a Q&A session at the forum, the CTO said that Tesla is “committed” to the South Korean market and that he sees a “great potential” there. Although he didn’t offer a concrete timeline on when the company plans to start selling cars in the country. expand full story

South Korea Stories January 31, 2014

I’m still infatuated with the Chevy Spark EV. The Korean/American EV can be had for significantly under $20K or $200/month meaning it can be free after gas cost savings for big commuters. The practical little 4 seat hatchback can go around 80 miles on a charge and can be charged quickly using the same SAE DC  charger as the BMW i3.

There’s more!

It has more torque (over 400ft/lbs) than a Ferrari 458 Italia and can hit 60 miles per hour in 7 seconds flat.

Did I mention it is essentially free if you currently spend $10/day on gasoline?

The Spark EV starts its life in Changwon, South Korea where gasoline and electric sparks are built by GM Korea, which was once known as Daewoo. But the heart of the Spark comes from America. GM is building the permanent magnet motors in Maryland, and instead of LG batteries made in Korea (like the Volt) GM is using American-made batteries courtesy of B456 (formerly A123. I’m not making this up). For reasons we don’t understand, GM isn’t “doing a CODA” and shipping cars sans-drivetran to America for assembly. The plant in Maryland ships the batteries and drivetrain to Korea, GM Korea inserts it in the car and ships the completed unit back to the USA.

Anyway, here’s a great review. I have no idea how they keep these in stock. Chevy please send these outside of California and Oregon.  Money quote:

Power is supplied by a 560lb, 21.3 kWh lithium battery pack located where the gas tank is in the gasoline Spark. As with the Chevy Volt, GM is taking the cautious path to battery preservation equipping the pack with an active heating and cooling system. That’s a stark contrast to the Nissan Leaf which uses a passive cooling system. Thanks to the lightest curb weight in the group (2,989lbs), the Spark scores 82 miles of EPA range and the highest efficiency rating of any EV to date. Depending on the weight of my right foot, my real world range varied from 70-100 miles.

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