A micro electric car that can’t run on a car-only road… Who blocked the road 

“Even though micro-electric vehicles are an indispensable means of transportation for small business owners who have a penny to spare, they are becoming useless due to outdated regulations.”Kwon Oh-geum, Vice Chairman of the National Federation of Self-Employed Small Businessmen

Kwon Oh-geum (64), vice chairman of the National Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises, which manufactures and sells curtains and blinds in Seoul, prepared a micro electric truck for 2020. From the point of view of mainly delivering curtains to customers, micro-electric trucks are serving as filial piety because ① they can receive subsidies, ② they are cheaper to maintain and fuel, ③ they are safer than motorcycles, and ④ they have good maneuverability . The original selling price ranges from 15 to 22 million won, but with subsidies provided by the government and local governments, you can buy it for 4 to 9 million won.

However, when you need to deliver to the Gyeonggi area or outside of Seoul, you cannot use a micro electric truck, so you have to spend tens of thousands of won for freight delivery . This is because micro-electric vehicles cannot run on automobile-only roads in downtown Seoul, such as Gangbyeon Expressway, Olympic Highway, and Dongbu Arterial Road . On the 19th, Vice Chairman Kwon said, “For small business owners in the floriculture business that deliver from Yangjae-dong Flower Market to all of Seoul, they cannot take the Gangbyeon Expressway, so they have to spend 10 to 20 minutes in the city.” We are making a micro electric car, but it is frustrating because we cannot use it properly,” he complained.

Micro electric vehicles are in the limelight as a means of transportation for small business owners struggling to make a living, but the brakes have been put on the expansion of their supply. Master, a small domestic automobile company, has also been producing ‘Master Power’, a mini electric truck since last year, but is struggling to sell it . This is because of the ban on entering the road . Unlike overseas countries that do not have car-only roads, Korea sets roads in which only cars such as trucks and vans can run, excluding bicycles and motorcycles, and limits the minimum speed to 30 km/h and the maximum speed to 80 km/h (in the case of Seoul). Youngjin Joo, managing director, said, “Even self-employed people who have shown interest are hesitant to purchase after hearing that they cannot run on car-only roads.” there is,” he said.

Micro-vehicles are classified as smaller than mini-vehicles in the ‘Enforcement Rules of the Motor Vehicle Management Act’. ①In the case of an internal combustion engine vehicle, the engine displacement is 250cc or less , and electric vehicles have a maximum rated output of 15kW or less. ②The length and height are the same as compact vehicles, but the width is 1.5m, 10cm smaller than compact vehicles, and the weight is less than 600kg and 750kg for passenger cars and trucks, respectively . ③ Top speed must be less than 80 km/hdo. As of this year, nine small and medium-sized automakers, including Master Electric Vehicle and Cevo Mobility, are producing micro-electric vehicles. From 2017 to last year, t

According to Fortune Business Insight, a global market research firm, the global micro electric vehicle market is expected to grow rapidly to $22.11 billion (approximately KRW 29.49 trillion) in 2029 . China’s ultra-small electric car’Hongguang Mini’ sold 395,451 units in China in 2021, ranking first in electric car sales in China. Last year, sales of ultra-small electric vehicles in Korea increased by 35% compared to the previous year, but the growth rate was slower than in overseas markets. According to the Korea Smart E-Mobility Association, sales of micro-electric vehicles in Korea have not exceeded 2,500 units for the fifth consecutive year after a surge of 1,917 units in 2018 when a system prohibiting entry into automobile-only roads was introduced.

“Safety not verified”… Prohibited access to exclusive roads

he cumulative number of units sold reached 10,668 units.

In 2018, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport created a new regulation for micro-vehicles in the vehicle classification system, and requested the National Police Agency to ban micro-electric vehicles from entering car-only roads. It was because at the time, safety standards that were applied to existing cars, such as crash tests, had not been prepared, and because of this, safety could not be guaranteed.

Micro-car manufacturing companies invested billions of won in additional R&D on micro-electric trucks produced in 2019, the following year , and put various safety devices into them. It was to prove that it is safe and not dangerous to drive on automobile-only roads by installing airbags and ABS (brake anti-lock system) , unlike foreign micro-electric vehicles that do not have safety devices. Finally, as a result of a crash test conducted by the Automobile Safety Research Institute under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in 2020, it succeeded in securing safety that reached 80% of ordinary compact cars such as the Morning .

Regulation is directly related to survival… “We need to set specific standards”

However, the police are still banning the passage of automobile-only roads based on the request of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the National Police Agency have been passing the ball to each other for several years despite their painstaking efforts to overcome the regulations.메이저놀이터 In a written opinion submitted to the Small and Medium Business Ombudsman in November of last year, the National Police Agency said, “After the vehicle crash safety evaluation of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, we plan to review the future permitting of driving on automobile-only roads for vehicles that have been supplemented on the premise of supplementing performance standards.” It means that if the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport acknowledges safety, it will be allowed. On the other hand, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said, “It is difficult to intervene as it is strictly under the jurisdiction of the National Police Agency to allow driving on exclusive roads.”

The problem is that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s regulations have become an obstacle to the growth of micro-automobile companies. Large marts, post offices, and self-employed people who mainly deliver to nearby places have to go back a long way because they cannot go on dedicated roads even if they want to move by micro electric truck. An official from a micro electric vehicle manufacturer explained, “The self-employed in Oksu-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul are in an absurd situation where they have to give up orders because they cannot cross Dongho Bridge when orders come in from Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu.” In the case of delivery from Hongje-dong, Seodaemun-gu to Gajwa-dong, you can travel 5km in 10 minutes using the inner circuit, but you have to go downtown and go back 2km.

Companies are demanding that they be allowed to drive on car-only roads, at least during the daytime when the driving speed is slow. Song Ji-yong, secretary-general of the Korea Smart Mobility Association, said, “The daytime travel speed on Seoul’s exclusive roads ranged from 26.1 to 55.8 km/h.”

“Please allow traffic during the day when driving speed is slow”

Experts raise their voices that regulations should be lifted as much as possible to protect the industrial ecosystem of small and medium-sized enterprises. In particular, it is necessary to be flexible, such as allowing micro electric vehicles to enter automobile-only roads during the daytime when vehicles do not run fast. Jung Yoon-jae, senior researcher at Korea Transportation Safety Authority, said, “Since it contains safety devices that are not found in European micro-vehicles, it is possible to sufficiently protect passengers on automobile-only roads in downtown Seoul during the daytime.” He pointed out that the relevant ministries and agencies should actively step forward to foster related industries.In the long term, it is pointed out that institutional supplementation is needed, such as preparing crash safety standards suitable for ultra-compact vehicles. This is because the current law does not specify the safety standards that micro-vehicles must meet to run on automobile-only roads. Kang Yoon-won, a senior researcher at the Korea Road Traffic Authority’s Transportation Science Research Institute, said, “We need to create minimum safety standards for micro-electric vehicles.”

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