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Chinese automaker BYD to sell electric cars in S Korea within 2015

Chinese new energy vehicle maker BYD is planning to sell its electric vehicles to the South Korea market before the end of 2015, according to a senior company executive.

BYD, a rising Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, has brought its popular BYD e6 electric taxi and SUV to an international electric vehicle (EV) expo which opened here Friday in the renowned South Korean tourist attraction.

Liu Xueliang, BYD’s general manager of the Asia-Pacific Region who leads the company’s team at the show, believes that South Korea is an ideal country for developing EVs due to its favorable policies and strong public environmental awareness, as well as their understanding of the automotive industry.

BYD is the only Chinese EV producer at the expo, which also attracts world big name automakers including BMW and General Motors.

Liu told Xinhua they paid great attention to the EV expo, which runs through March 15. “It is not only a good chance for BYD to know more about the South Korean market, but also a great opportunity for South Korean customers, media and the government to know more about the development of EVs in China.”

According to him, BYD plans to sell its electric bus to South Korea first. “Public transportation tools consume more energy than private cars, but electric bus will help reduce most of the harmful exhaust emissions.”

BYD is also considering selling its electric taxi E6 to South Korea, which has run in China’s southern city of Shenzhen for five years. This car is also seen on the streets in Hong Kong.

Earlier this year, BYD supplied a Japanese bus company with five electric buses K9, which can travel about 250 km after a single charging. This is the first time a totally made in China motor vehicle entered the Japanese market.

“Now we are already here in South Korea. We will take solid steps to development the South Korean market,” said Liu, adding that BYD is contacting with some local partners to look for ways to promote its EVs in South Korea.

The company is also making efforts to shorten the process of entering the South Korean market as much as possible, and Liu expected that South Korean consumers can enjoy BYD’s EVs before the end of 2015.

By the end of 2014, BYD had sold its EVs to more than 100 cities in 35 countries and regions around the world. In 2014 alone, the company sold a total of 3,560 E6 taxis and 2,500 K9 buses.

“As a EV producer who owns core technology including the battery and others, BYD wishes to show a brand-new image of ‘made in China’ to the world,” said Liu.

He said the close relationship between China and South Korea has greatly promoted bilateral trade, believing the China-South Korea free trade agreement will also give Korean consumers more opportunities to know Chinese brands.

China and South Korea initialed the free trade pact on Feb. 25. The two countries began talks on the deal in May 2012.

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