Electric vehicle (EV) sales in South Korea plunged 25 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, while gasoline hybrid model sales jumped 46 percent during the same period, according to a market report on Friday.

From January to March, the country’s EV registrations fell to 25,550 units from 34,186 in the same period of last year as global EV sales growth slowed, CarIsYou said in a statement.

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It is the first time for the first-quarter EV sales to fall compared to a year earlier, the statement said.

In contrast, gasoline hybrid vehicle sales jumped to 99,832 units in the first quarter from 68,249 a year ago.

In the March quarter, gasoline-powered vehicle sales fell 19 percent to 196,472 units from 241,742 a year ago.

Diesel car sales plunged 56 percent to 39,039 from 88,154 during the cited period. Industry people expect EV sales to remain sluggish throughout the year due to the zero-emission cars’ high prices, lack of charging infrastructure, and potential fire risks.

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