S. Korea tests EV charging Airbnb in Jeju to resolve lack of infrastructure

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : August 28, 2020, 10:12 | Updated : August 28, 2020, 10:12

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SEOUL -- The economic feasibility of a new platform sharing electric vehicle charging infrastructure will be tested on South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju to build a green mobility ecosystem based on eco-friendly cars. It is aimed at resolving the lack of charging infrastructure and activating small-scall charging businesses.

The demonstration of "Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Airbnb" will be staged gradually from August 27 to May next year, according to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. Airbnb, which is an American vacation rental online marketplace company, acts as a broker and receive commissions for offering arrangement for lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences.

The new platform is to generate profits by sharing privately owned EV chargers during idle hours, the ministry said. More than 70 percent of some 10,000 personal chargers in Jeju are installed in multi-unit dwelling houses and apartments. However, most of them are left unattended except for individual charging time, and it's difficult to secure space for the establishment of additional personal chargers.

The current law requires the owners of personal chargers to acquire business licenses if they want to generate profits by sharing chargers during idle hours. Jeju will be exempt from regulations.

South Korea aims to increase the number of eco-friendly cars to 433,000 by 2022. Jeju has been designated as a special zone for regulatory freedom to realize a clean eco-system with the country's largest EV infrastructure. The island has some 20,000 EVs and more than 14,000 charging stations in public areas.

"If the 'Jeju-type Electric Vehicle Charging Airbnb' business begins through this demonstration, the lack of charging infrastructure, which has been pointed out as the biggest obstacle to the supply and spread of electric vehicles, is expected to be resolved considerably, and new innovative growth models will be created through the activation of small charging businesses," the ministry said in a statement.

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