Like Hawaii, Jeju is focusing on a "carbon-free" existence and lowered fossil-fuel dependency as a way to help the environment while addressing the extra expenses involved in providing fuel locally, Wards Auto says. Jeju, which is about 720 square miles, provides about $7,000 worth of EV incentives on top of those provided by the South Korean government. As a result, the cost of buying an EV can be cut in half. In the case of a Chevrolet Spark EV, going electric actually has a lower out-of-pocket price tag than buying a gas-powered counterpart on the island. South Korea's Ministry of Environment has earmarked about $14,000 in subsidies for each EV purchase, while 10 South Korean cities are adding on incentives anywhere from about $2,800 to $7,400 per vehicle.
South Korean automaker Hyundai and affiliate Kia are just starting to do their part to boost the country's EV sales, which didn't even break the 800-unit mark last year. Kia recently said it will start making its 2015 model-year Soul EV in April, with sales debuting in South Korea by the end of the year. Hyundai is said to start selling its own EV starting in 2016.