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Carmakers jostle for positions in S. Korea’s electric car market

SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) — Carmakers jostle for positions in South Korea’s burgeoning electric car market as Seoul seeks to encourage ordinary citizens to buy zero-emission cars by offering subsidies and tax incentives.

Renault Samsung Motors Co., the South Korean unit of French automaker Renault S.A., said it has lowered the price of the electric version of its SM3 compact sedan to 45 million (US$40,000), down from the 60 million price tag of its previous model imported from Renault’s plant in Turkey.

The latest SM3 electric car, to be produced in South Korea, is scheduled to hit local showrooms in October. The electric car travels 135 kilometers on a single charge, according to the carmaker.

The carmaker said 45 people in the country’s southern resort island of Jeju applied to buy SM3 electric cars in the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province to get subsidies worth 8 million from the provincial authorities.

Separately, the environment ministry provides subsidies worth 15 million won to those who buy electric cars as part of the country’s efforts to promote the use of electric cars that do not emit greenhouse gases largely responsible for global warming.
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