As recently as 2010, just 61 EVs were sold in South Korea. In 2017, more than 10,000 were sold, a growth curve that Nissan says points to the potential for South Korea to be a leader in electrification in Asia.

Nissan has reaffirmed that it is committed to making electric vehicles more accessible to more customers as the 'future of mobility fast approaches', Nissan's head of Asia and Oceania Yutaka Sanada recently told a forum in South Korea.

The forum – "The Future of Mobility: Is EV era closer?" – was organized by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) on May 16. The forum focused in part on EV strategies of the major automakers, barriers to accelerating EV adoption in markets and EV battery technologies.

Sanada told the KAIDA Automotive Forum that demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is increasing as a greater range of EV technologies reaches the market, costs come down and customer demand grows for cleaner, more efficient cars that are also exciting to drive.

"Not so long ago, in 2010, the entire automotive industry sold only 61 EVs in Korea," said Sanada, Nissan's regional senior vice president and head for Asia and Oceania. "Over the past years, the number of EVs sold has doubled each year to more than 10,000 last year. In markets such as Japan and Europe, this number is even higher. As a technologically advanced country, Korea has the potential to lead the era of electrification in the region."

Nissan had earlier announced plans for the new Nissan Leaf, the world's best-selling electric car, to be available in Korea and six other markets in Asia and Oceania within this fiscal year.

"I am very proud of Nissan's experience, scale and commitment when it comes to making EV technologies available to consumers," said Sanada in his presentation at the Seoul forum. "We have led the way in bringing EVs to the mass market and we will continue to do."

By the mid-2020s, battery EVs will be more cost efficient as technological advancements make wind and solar power generation more effective and cheaper and governments increasingly introduce stricter fuel efficiency standards.

Until then, accelerating the electrification era means making the cars more available and more accessible, Sanada told the gathering of industry leaders. Collaboration between private and public partners is key, along with devising a long-term approach tailored to address each market's unique situation and specific needs.

"This new era of mobility does not mean that everything will suddenly be electric," said Sanada. "Barriers need to be removed and incentives offered so that the full potential of EVs can be reached. Making EVs more accessible is vital. This can include tax incentives and charging stations in apartment buildings, or benefits such as special parking areas."

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