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North Korea is notorious for its authoritarianism, hatred of Western countries, and closed borders that make it nearly impossible to bring anything in or out of the country. But if there is a desire, then there is an opportunity!

Recently, local media unveiled the first electric car from North Korea, the Madusan EV, with all pomp. It is a fast, comfortable, innovative, stylish, modern (continue the series of enthusiastic epithets yourself) electric car. But this is all complete nonsense and lies upon lies!

Firstly, the first electric car from North Korea is simply BYD Han from China. Secondly, the official range (which BYD lists on its website) is 660 kilometers, not 720 km as shown in the promotional video.

Well, thirdly, the North Korean “automaker” didn’t even think of installing its nameplate on the front: instead, you will see a dark rectangle running across the screen, covering the BYD logo.

It’s not surprising that Chinese electric cars are making their way to North Korea, given the close political and (albeit one-sided) trade relationship that exists between the two countries. These cars came through an import-export company.

In particular, according to The Korea Herald, through the Madusan Economic Federation, which bills itself as a North Korean foreign trade organization established in 2018 and engaged in energy and resource management, smartphone production and other similar activities.

In other words, the cars were imported from China and sent to the DPRK. It’s unclear who will buy them, given that the average person can barely afford to live and that only half the population has access to electricity, let alone DC fast chargers.

Some may make their way to party leaders, but based on what we’ve seen in the past, they may prefer to stick with their old Toyota SUVs and Mercedes-Benz sedans.

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