Chaevi, a South Korean charging equipment company, has entered the U.S. and Japan markets
Chaevi, a South Korean manufacturer of electric vehicle superchargers, is planning to build an ultra-fast charging network in the United States and cooperate with Japanese automakers, foreign media reported. The move comes as consumers around the world embrace electric vehicles as a more environmentally friendly way to get around.
Young Min Kim, CEO of Chaevi, revealed that the company has installed about 26,000 charging posts for electric vehicles in South Korea since 2016. Chaevi already has an office in Silicon Valley and is considering building a production base in the United States. While entering the U.S. market means competing with the likes of Tesla, EVgo and Electrify America, Chaevi is considering investing in North America, encouraged by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. The bill aims to reduce America's dependence on China, encourage automakers from around the world to build more cars in the United States, and may also provide subsidies to makers of electric vehicle rechargers.
Chaevi also sees a growing market in Japan, where electric vehicle penetration is low. The company plans to open an office in Tokyo, Mr. Kim said, without giving details.
Mr Kim also said the company had no plans to enter China, the world's largest market for electric vehicles. He said the current market in China is already crowded, with data showing that there are currently 346,950 quick-charging points in the country, compared with 29,541 in Europe and 23,159 in the US.
Lee Chang-hee, an analyst at Samsung Securities, said the willingness to look for opportunities outside South Korea was likely driven by Asian countries' strict regulations on charging points for electric vehicles. "South Korea has strict regulations on electric vehicle charging points, such as limiting the number of parking lots that can be installed. So some Korean charging post manufacturers are looking to expand overseas."
Although the average number of charging points per electric vehicle in South Korea is high, consumers still feel there are not enough because many are far from residential areas and many charging devices have been damaged, according to a report released in October by the Korea Development Research Association.
Chaevi expects South Korea will need about 210,000 slow charging points and 24,000 fast charging points by the end of next year to support its goal of building 500,000 electric vehicle charging points nationwide by 2025. South Korea had about 149,000 fast - and slow-speed charging stations at the end of August, according to government data