American electric vehicle maker Tesla was certified by South Korea's transport ministry Wednesday as a vehicle manufacturer, opening the way for its much-anticipated car sales that are expected to begin at the end of May.
Tesla sent an application for government approval in December last year, but the green light has been delayed because it allegedly failed to meet requirements set by transport authorities -- manufacturing facility, test facility and post management infrastructure.
"Tesla has submitted a proposal suggesting it would establish maintenance facilities for its electric vehicle charging stations and key features such as autonomous driving while hiring third-party companies to take care of other maintenance such as exterior parts," a transport ministry official said.
The ministry said it would conduct a final examination when Telsa's prototype vehicles arrive this month before.
Since September last year, Tesla has prepared a showroom in a newly-opened luxurious resort and shopping mall complex, "Starfield Hanam".
China's largest electric carmaker BYD plans to join the electric vehicle race in South Korea. BYD has applied for government certification to be registered as a carmaker, the ministry said, adding it would issue certification next week.
Park Sae-jin = email@example.com