Ministry of Environment doubles yearly budget to KRW 60.5 billion
Increase in securing common facilities for installing slow chargers
Bribing to the management office, etc. to secure sites for charger
There have been 'illegal bribes' to building managers appeared as the competition to secure subsidies for EV chargers intensified. The cost of installing a charger is KRW 1.5 million, but more cases are emerging where sales broker costs and bribes that exceeded KRW 2 million. Many are criticizing that there are distortion in the market misusing the government subsidies rather than building charging infrastructure.
The Ministry of Environment will select 25 charging companies among charging service providers from 30 countries this year through evaluation by the 27th. The budget for the year's charger subsidy project secured by the Ministry of Environment is KRW 60.5 billion, which is more than double of last year’s budget KRW 24 billion. More than 30,000 slow (7·11kW) chargers will be distributed to common facilities across the country, such as apartments.
The war to secure subsidies began as the national budget doubled from last year. There have been cases of large corporations acquiring charging companies or investing in shares have increased in order to increase corporate value by competing to increase the number of charger operations. The operating fee per slow charger jumped from KRW 200,000 to 300,000 to KRW 500,000 to 650,000 this year. An illegal bribe offered to management offices or tenant representatives in addition to operating expenses to obtain largest sites, such as apartments.
The amount of bribes includes operating expenses paid by the business to the broker. There are claims that the reason for increased operating expenses to KRW 650,000 this year is due to the bribe transactions between business operators. Corporations need help from the management office or the tenant representative meeting in order to secure as many agreements to install chargers in common facilities, such as apartments. The amount of bribes ranges from KRW 100,000 to 300,000 per charger; however, the exact amount is unknown because tax invoices have not been issued.
The subsidy for slow chargers averages between KRW 1.2 million and 1.4 million this year, depending on the quantity per location, which means that half of the government subsidy is used for operating expenses regardless of the installation and operation of chargers. The representative of an apartment complex in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, told in a voice call meeting that, “There have been numerous cases where a broker, who is not a charger manufacturer, has come to give us rebates that cannot be accounted for.” A representative of a charging company criticized and said, "Installing a charger costs KRW 1.5 million, but there are bribes of KRW 150,000 to 200,000 due to subsidy preemption. The only way to revive the charging market is to abolish the national charger subsidy.”
By Staff Reporter Tae-jun Park (email@example.com)