Renault Samsung Motors has started volume production of the SM3 ZE at its Busan plant, the carmaker said.

Starting next year, the company plans to produce up to 4,000 of the vehicles annually with the aim of becoming a leader in the electric car industry, the Korea Herald reported.

"Electric cars will be the engines of growth leading the green growth of Korea," said Francois Provost, chief executive of the company, adding Renault Samsung Motors had every intention of fully supporting the initiative. 

In the 10 'pioneer' South Korean cities for electric vehicles, the carmaker has been making preparations to install quick recharging stations and after sales service networks.

Busan is one of the 10, along with Changwon, Dangjin and Daejeon.

"Busan City will be making endeavours of its own to help with the popularisation of electric cars, starting with implementing electric car taxis and expanding the recharging station network,” said Hur Nam-sik, mayor of Busan. "By such measures, we hope to assist Renault Samsung Motors’ efforts to localise and contribute to the local community.” 

The SM3 ZE is the nation’s first full electric compact car and an initial fleet of 107 has been delivered to Jeju Island.

It can drive up to 135km on one charge at a maximum speed of 135km/h.