The South Korean government this week announced it will set up a new department within the Ministry of Industry to drive forward the country's future car industry policy.

This follows the announcement last week of ambitious new domestic sales targets for zero emission vehicles which includes 1.13m cumulative sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 200,000 cumulative sales of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) by 2025.

This compares with just 120,000 EVs in circulation in the country as of the end of September 2020 while the number of hydrogen FCEVs in use was just 9,500 units.

The new department, to be launched on 11 November, will be tasked with setting policies and encouraging the development of new technology for the local zero emissions vehicle industry which is seen as a key segment of future economic growth in the country.

The government plans to extend tax discounts on zero emission vehicle purchases to 2022 to help encourage sales while manufacturers will be encouraged to reduce the price of major zero emission car parts.