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Environment-friendly Vehicle Policy in South Korea: Assessment and Reform

Author Cho Chuel, Kim Kyung-you, Yoon Ja-young Date 2017.12.21 Page

(1) Research Background


As pollution and climate change emerge as some of the most pressing issues facing the world, it has become a top-priority task for policymakers around the world to introduce policy measures that foster the development and distribution of environmentally-friendly vehicles (EFVs). To this end the South Korean government has launched a wide variety initiatives and has implemented a range of environmental regulatory measures governing all vehicles. However the effectiveness of these individual measures can only be guaranteed if they are supported by a comprehensive and long-term master plan for EFVs. It is therefore an appropriate time to evaluate the existing EFV support measures and explore implications for future policy reform.


The purpose of this study is to provide an in-depth assessment of the various policy measures that the Korean government has introduced to support EFVs, so as to present new guidelines for future policymaking in light of the long-term goals for the EFV industry and the overarching public interests of environmental protection and industrial growth.


(2) Research Scope and Method


The types of EFVs our study focuses on are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs). We open our study by first discussing the growth prospects for the EFV industry, exploring the diverse responses that governments worldwide have made to environmental problems and the extent to which the auto industry can contribute to solving them. To predict which of the various types of EFVs will become mainstream, we assess the pros and cons of the extant models and how effectively their shortcomings can be overcome. Next, we provide a general summary of the EFV support policy measures currently in place in Korea. Our assessment of these policy measures focuses specifically on how well they cohere with the overarching policy objectives currently in place and how efficiently they are being implemented. Most importantly, we evaluate whether the existing policy measures effectively serve the overarching public ideals of environmental protection and industrial growth.


As our goal is to explore and identify the possible directions in which the Korean EFV industry might grow in the future, our assessment of existing policy measures is based mostly on a survey of existing literature. This study may be regarded as an example of process evaluation in that it assesses policy measures being implemented now, but it can also be seen as a preliminary assessment in that it suggests new growth directions for the EFV industry based on an assessment of existing policy measures, rendering policy prescriptions accordingly. Although this study cites specific statistics to support its analysis of EFV policies and related measures, its assessment of policy measures is based on a qualitative analysis, relying on our own judgments (in based on a wide range of available data) and in-depth interviews with experts.?