Tesla Motors Inc.'s Model S 90D is eligible to receive government subsidies in South Korea as the country has recently eased regulations involving battery charging time, the environment ministry said Friday.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Environment notified the U.S. electric carmaker of its decision to include the Model S 90D sedan as electric car models subject to a central government subsidy worth 14 million won (US$12,300) and a provincial government subsidy up to 10 million won, a person familiar with the matter said by phone.
The central government subsidy is fixed but the provincial government subsidies range from 5 million won to 10 million won.
A motorist who purchases the 90D sedan originally priced at 113 million won will benefit from a price cut of up to 24 million won if he or she registers the car in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, a ministry official said.
A Seoul-based spokeswoman for Tesla confirmed that those who buy the 90D can receive state subsidies.
Under the previous regulations, an electric vehicle that takes more than 10 hours to be fully charged was not subject to the subsidies. But the regulation has been recently lifted, paving the way for the U.S. carmaker to expand into the Korean market.
Still, two other models currently available in the domestic market -- the Model S 75D and 100D models have yet to be subject to the subsidies. The process is still under way to allow the two models to join the 90D, the official said.
The 75D and 100D models are available for 97 million won and 121 million won, respectively.
Tesla Motors entered the Korean market in March and set up two showrooms in Seoul and Hanam, just east of Seoul.
It has been aggressively establishing charging stations exclusively used for its own electric vehicles – the Model X, Model S and Model 3. It has built seven rapid chargers, or "superchargers" and 93 slow-charging stations, or "destination chargers," and will continue to add more to woo local customers.
It takes 75 minutes to fully charge Tesla models at superchargers.
Telsa has to pass the certification process to sell the Model X and Model S vehicles in Korea. (Yonhap)