Miniature electric cars are gaining popularity. At present, three companies are competing in this segment, but other companies are planning to enter it as demand for ultra-compact electric cars are on the rise.
The Korea Post announced on May 20 that it would increase the number of miniature electric cars from ten to 1,000 by the end of this year. Next year, it plans to quintuple the fleet to 5,000 units and add another 5,000 by 2020. The Korea Post plans to completely replace two-wheelers used for the delivery of mails with miniature electric cars.
Accordingly, the Korean market for small-sized EVs, which posted only 600 cars in sales last year, is expected to grow at least 20 times over the next two years. If demand for civilian ultra-compact electric cars is added, their growth is expected to be sharper.
Currently, three companies are participating in the pilot project of the Korea Post -- Renault Samsung Motors, Semisysco, and Daechang Motors.
Renault Samsung will consider domestic production of the ultra-small electric car Twizy if demand for it rises. The company has sold 642 units by April this year. Its total sales volume reached 691 units last year. Currently, Renault's headquarters in France has annual output of about 2,200 units, of which 1,500 units were allocated to Renault Samsung.
Daechang Motors received preorders for 100 units of the miniature electric car Danigo in January this year, and sold them out in half a day. Then they carried out a preordering event for additional 200 units, with all of them quickly sold out.
Since February of this year, Semisysco has been selling the D2 miniature electric car at major E-Mart stores nationwide. The D2 is a vehicle produced by China Zhidou and is imported by Semisysco. On July 1 of this year, the R3 mini electric car will be launched as well. Semisysco plans to produce it at a factory in Sejong City of Korea, and the factory’s annual production capacity is 4,000 units.
Domestic electric car sales are surging. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, as of April this year, a total of 30,893 electric cars were registered in Korea. The figure increased by 5,785 units from 25,018 in December of last year. Accordingly, domestic electric vehicle sales are expected to more than double from last year to exceed 30,000 units this year.