Steady demand for hybrid and electric vehicles in South Korea pushed sales of eco-friendly cars to an all-time high last year.
The number of green cars sold in the country stood at 97,486 units in 2017, up 41.6 percent from the previous year, according to data from industry sources and the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association on Sunday.
Koreans’ demand for green cars has been growing at a strong pace, with sales exceeding 40,000 units in 2015 and 60,000 units in 2016. Sales are expected to break the 100,000 mark this year as a string of new models are awaiting release in the coming months.
Hybrid vehicles led the growth, selling 83,762 units last year to account for 85.9 percent of total green car sales. Electric vehicles sold 13,724 units, making up 14.1 percent.
The most popular green car model for two straight years was Niro, a crossover hybrid of Kia Motors Corp., which sold 23,647 units last year. Hyundai Motor Co.’s Grandeur Hybrid sedan came second with 18,491 units. Hyundai’s Ioniq series of hybrids and EVs followed with 12,399 units.
Among imports, the Lexus ES300h topped the list with 7,627 units.
By Kim Jung-hwan and Kim Hyo-jin
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]