[EXCLUSIVE] Tesla to open showroom on Jeju Island

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[EXCLUSIVE] Tesla to open showroom on Jeju Island

Visitors check out Tesla's electric vehicles at the automaker's outlet in Starfield Hanam in this file photo. The first showroom of Tesla in Korea opened last November at the shopping complex. / Korea Times photo by Jhoo Dong-chan

By Jhoo Dong-chan


JEJU ― Tesla, the world's top electric car maker, plans to build a showroom and a supercharger station on Jeju island this year, Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong said in a recent interview with The Korea Times.

If completed, it would be the third Tesla store in Korea. The other two are in Seoul and at the Starfield Hanam mall, a shopping complex situated some 10 kilometers east of Seoul.

"We visited Tesla Korea last month to agree to set up the outlet and a supercharger station on Jeju during the latter part of 2017," the 53-year-old governor said.

"We are in talks with Tesla with regard to details under the premise that the facilities will be in place this year."

The Tesla supercharger is the automaker's high-speed device that can charge more than 50 percent of a Tesla car battery in 20 minutes. One charging station can accommodate six to eight cars at a time.

Tesla Global Sales & Service President Jonathan McNeill confirmed during his visit to the firm's Korean unit in April that it will build 14 supercharger stations here this year.

Six will be established in Seoul, three at highway service stations and the remaining five in other major Korean cities.

But he did not disclose the plan to build a Tesla store on Jeju.

Jeju would be the right place for Tesla, which strives to expand its footing in Korea.

Jeju already has an advanced infrastructure for electric cars and around 10,000 electricity-powered vehicles run on the scenic resort island, around a half of the total in Korea.

Under the stewardship of Governor Won, Jeju set up the "2030 carbon-free island" initiative of getting rid of conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles from the island in a decade.

"In 2030, Jeju would have some 370,000 automobiles. We plan to encourage our citizens to drive only electric cars by then," said Won, who took office midway through 2014.

Calling such efforts "green big bang," the former three-term lawmaker said that Jeju will become an island with eco-friendly smart-cities which global cities can benchmark.

Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim University said that the cooperation between Tesla and Jeju would work as a win-win strategy for both sides.

"Tesla's third showroom would help the company gain awareness in Korea because Jeju is the nation's hotbed of electric cars," said Kim who was also involved in the establishment of Tesla's Jeju store.

"From the perspective of Jeju, it would be able to get fresh momentum to increase the number of electric cars through the Tesla outlet."

Kim expected that Jeju would not get rid of all diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2030. But he said that it would be a great success if the proportion of electric cars reaches 20 percent or 30 percent by then.



Korean Language

[단독] 테슬라, 제주에 세번째 전시장 개장하기로 합의

(제주=코리아타임스) 주동찬 기자 = 미국 전기차 업체인 테슬라가 연내에 전시장과 슈퍼차저 충전소를 제주도에 짓는다고 원희룡 제주지사가 밝혔다. 

제주도에 전시장이 지어지면, 하남 스타필드와 서울 청담동 쇼룸에 이어 한국에서의 세번째 전시장이 된다. 

원 지사는 “지난 달 테슬라 코리아를 방문해 제주도에 판매영업점과 수퍼차저 충전소를 연내에 짓는 계획에 대해 테슬라 측과 합의 했으며, 이를 전제로 세부사항에 대한 협의 중에 있다”고 밝혔다.  

테슬라 슈퍼차저 충전소는 테슬라 대부분 모델의 배터리 절반을 20분만에 충전시킬 수 있는 고속 충전기기로 만들어지며 한 충전소에서 여섯에서 여덟 대 가량의 차량을 동시에 충전할 수 있다. 

조나단 맥네일 테슬라 글로벌세일즈서비스 사장은 지난 4월 방한 중 연내에 한국에 슈퍼차저 충전소 14곳을 짓는 계획에 대해 발표했지만, 제주도에 슈퍼차저 충전소와 더불어 전시장을 짓는 계획에 대해 이야기가 나온 것은 이번이 처음이다.

제주도는 원 지사의 주도 하에 국내에서 가장 발빠르게 전기차에 대한 인프라 구축을 나섰으며, 현재 제주도에만 만 여대 가량의 전기차가 등록되어 있다. 이는 국내 등록된 총 전기차의 절반 정도를 차지한다.  

원 지사는 “2030년을 기점으로 제주도에만 37만 여대의 자동차가 등록될 것이며, 도민들에게 전기차 구입을 적극적으로 유도하고 있다”며 이는 “제주의 2030 무탄소배출 정책의 일환”이라고 밝혔다. 

대림대학교의 김필수 교수는 제주도에 전시장과 충전소를 짓기로 한 테슬라와 제주도의 결정은 상호 간의 윈윈이라며 환영의 뜻을 밝혔다. 

김 교수는 “테슬라의 세번째 전시장이 지어지는 제주도는 국내 전기차의 요람과 같은 곳이며, 내연기관 자동차를 줄이고 전기차 유치에 박차를 가하는 제주에 또다른 동력이 될 것”이라고 말했다.



Visitors check out Tesla's electric vehicles at the automaker's outlet in Starfield Hanam in this file photo. The first showroom of Tesla in Korea opened last November at the shopping complex. / Korea Times photo by Jhoo Dong-chan

By Jhoo Dong-chan


JEJU ― Tesla, the world's top electric car maker, plans to build a showroom and a supercharger station on Jeju island this year, Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong said in a recent interview with The Korea Times.

If completed, it would be the third Tesla store in Korea. The other two are in Seoul and at the Starfield Hanam mall, a shopping complex situated some 10 kilometers east of Seoul.

"We visited Tesla Korea last month to agree to set up the outlet and a supercharger station on Jeju during the latter part of 2017," the 53-year-old governor said.

"We are in talks with Tesla with regard to details under the premise that the facilities will be in place this year."

The Tesla supercharger is the automaker's high-speed device that can charge more than 50 percent of a Tesla car battery in 20 minutes. One charging station can accommodate six to eight cars at a time.

Tesla Global Sales & Service President Jonathan McNeill confirmed during his visit to the firm's Korean unit in April that it will build 14 supercharger stations here this year.

Six will be established in Seoul, three at highway service stations and the remaining five in other major Korean cities.

But he did not disclose the plan to build a Tesla store on Jeju.

Jeju would be the right place for Tesla, which strives to expand its footing in Korea.

Jeju already has an advanced infrastructure for electric cars and around 10,000 electricity-powered vehicles run on the scenic resort island, around a half of the total in Korea.

Under the stewardship of Governor Won, Jeju set up the "2030 carbon-free island" initiative of getting rid of conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles from the island in a decade.

"In 2030, Jeju would have some 370,000 automobiles. We plan to encourage our citizens to drive only electric cars by then," said Won, who took office midway through 2014.

Calling such efforts "green big bang," the former three-term lawmaker said that Jeju will become an island with eco-friendly smart-cities which global cities can benchmark.

Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim University said that the cooperation between Tesla and Jeju would work as a win-win strategy for both sides.

"Tesla's third showroom would help the company gain awareness in Korea because Jeju is the nation's hotbed of electric cars," said Kim who was also involved in the establishment of Tesla's Jeju store.

"From the perspective of Jeju, it would be able to get fresh momentum to increase the number of electric cars through the Tesla outlet."

Kim expected that Jeju would not get rid of all diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2030. But he said that it would be a great success if the proportion of electric cars reaches 20 percent or 30 percent by then.

Jhoo Dong-chan jhoo@koreatimes.co.kr


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