With demand for electric cars on the rise, people have lined up overnight to get subsidies provided to buyers of electric cars. We take you to the scene in our next story.
Late hours into the night, a long line has formed outside the hallways of Cheongju City Hall. The people in line spend the night thereon their mats and in their blankets and sleeping bags. By morning, the line has grown longer. Roughly 70 people lined up to apply for electric car subsidies set aside for the first 30 applicants.
[Soundbite] Park Seung-won(Cheongju Resident) : "After riding an electric car, I realized that its driving performance is far more outstanding that general internal combustion engines."
The cities of Sejong and Yongin, which received applications via e-mail, closed submissions the minute it began receiving them.
[Soundbite] Song Seok-gon(Employee, Sejong City) : "We began receiving applications at nine a.m. In just one minute, we received 34 applications, or more than the 20 we are accepting. We were quite surprised."
The number of applications submitted to local governments for such subsidies, which began on January 25th, grew four-fold compared to the same period last year. Applications have already closed in 33 locations. People who wish to buy electric cars can get up to 26 million won in subsidies, including 14 million won in public funds and local government subsidies, depending on the region. Electric car owners will also see less burden in maintaining their vehicles as charging fees have been cut 44 percent from this year. Until last year, roughly 10,800 electric cars have been distributed throughout the country. This year, 14,000 more units are expected to be supplied. The government plans to provide additional budget if demand for such cars surges.