Thirty-seven percent of Southeast Asian consumers open to the idea of to buying an electric vehicle, according to a Nissan-commissioned study by Frost & Sullivan. The finding demonstrates the region’s strong potential to speed up the electrification of mobility. Customers in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia emerged as the most enthusiastic about electric cars.
Along with the release of the study, Nissan announced that the new LEAF will go on sale in seven markets in Asia and Oceania during the next fiscal year: Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. Nissan is also exploring the vehicles launch in Indonesia and Philippines.
The study—Future of Electric Vehicles in Southeast Asia—was released in Singapore at Nissan Futures, a gathering of industry leaders, government officials and media. The study was based on 1,800 online customer responses and face-to-face discussions across six countries in ASEAN, including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The report shows that with the right incentives, the region can accelerate the adoption of electric and electrified vehicles, the study shows that more than one-in-three Southeast Asian consumers planning to buy a car were open to purchasing an EV.
Consumers also stated that there are two primary reasons why they are hesitant to buy an EV. The first reason is that the worry about the safety of electric vehicles and many thought the technology is not mature enough. Their second reason for hesitation in buying an EV was their perceptions on the limited range of EV’s due to their batteries and the inconvenience and lack of charging stations for EV’s in their countries.
Contrary to common perceptions about EV ownership, the cost of EV’s is not a deterrent and in fact, consumers who were surveyed said they were willing to pay more to own an EV compared to a conventional car.
The study also showed that lower costs would prompt more people to consider electric cars. Three in four respondents said they were ready to switch to EV’s if taxes were waived. Other incentives that would persuade consumers to buy an EV include the installation of charging stations in apartment buildings (70 %), priority lanes for EVs (56 %) and free parking (53 %).
Electric car ownership in Southeast Asia is still relatively low. Nonetheless, the survey shows that consumers are aware of differences among technologies such as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrids and Nissan’s e-POWER series-hybrid vehicles.
The highest association of electric vehicles is for BEVs at 83%. Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam are most evolved in their understanding with BEVs. A significant presence of full hybrids in Malaysia and Thailand skews association of EVs with hybrids.
In an interview with Vietnamese online newspaper, Zing.vn, Trudy Harris, the product communications manager at Nissan Motor Corporation APAC said that the success of EV’s depends on “the co-operation between governments, businesses and other stakeholders.” She also noted that co-operation does not only include infrastructure, but also tax incentives and support for users to develop EV’s in Asia.