One in three Southeast Asian consumers open to buying electric car

Study by Nissan and Frost & Sullivan reveals strong demand in region

SINGAPORE – One in three Southeast Asian consumers planning to buy a car are open to purchasing an electric vehicle, a study shows. The finding demonstrates the region's strong potential to speed up the electrification of mobility.

The Nissan-commissioned study by Frost & Sullivan, titled "Future of Electric Vehicles in Southeast Asia," was released today in Singapore at Nissan Futures, a gathering of industry leaders, government officials and media.

Consumer research in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines reveals that 37% of prospective buyers are open to considering an electric vehicle as their next car. Customers in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia emerged as the most enthusiastic about electric cars.

With the right incentives, the region can accelerate the adoption of electric and electrified vehicles, the study shows.

At the Nissan Futures event, Nissan reiterated its commitment to driving the future of Southeast Asian mobility through its Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society – with the goal of moving people to a better world. The company announced that the new, 100% electric Nissan LEAF, featuring a suite of advanced technologies showcasing Nissan ingenuity, will go on sale in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand during the next fiscal year.

Safety and charging convenience
Across the region, two out of three consumers identified safety standards as the most important factor if purchasing an electric vehicle. Charging convenience was identified as the second-most important. Contrary to common perception, cost was not a deterrent – in fact, customers surveyed were willing to pay more to own an electric vehicle, compared with a comparable conventional car.

However, the study showed that lower costs would prompt more people to consider electric cars. Three in four respondents said they were ready to switch to electric vehicles if taxes were waived. Other incentives that would sway consumers include the installation of charging stations in apartment buildings (70%), priority lanes for electric vehicles (56%) and free parking (53%).

Motivating factors for buying an electric vehicle

Significant association with electric vehicle technologies
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 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.

Intention to buy EVs, by country Association with BEVs, by country

Removing adoption barriers
While potential demand for electric vehicles is significant, adoption barriers remain, including a lack of knowledge. Range anxiety – the fear of running out of power – is the main barrier. Customers are also unsure about safety standards for electric vehicles.

"Leapfrogging in electrification of mobility requires strong collaboration between public and private parties and a long-term approach tailored to each market's unique situation," Yutaka Sanada, regional senior vice president at Nissan, said at Nissan Futures. "Consumers in Southeast Asia have indicated that governments have a critical role to play in the promotion of electric vehicles."

"Meanwhile, as car manufacturers, we need to do a better job in explaining that EVs are indeed a safe, smart and sustainable option in all weather conditions," Sanada added. "Nissan's electric vehicles undergo extremely rigorous testing in the most severe conditions. We are very proud that our 300,000 Nissan LEAF customers have driven more than 3.9 billion kilometers around the world since 2010, without experiencing any critical incidents with the batteries."
Vivek Vaidya, senior vice president of mobility at Frost & Sullivan, added: "The current uptake rate of electric vehicles isn't a true reflection of underlying demand, which is much stronger. Contrary to popular belief that the high cost of EVs is the impediment, the survey reveals that safety concerns and charging concerns run high on customers' minds. If the industry and government can take away these barriers, the full potential of EVs can be reached."

"There is a significant societal, economic and environmental upside for South East Asia if public support can match the private interest in electrification. Strong public-private collaboration is vital to create a greener, cleaner future."

Yutaka Sanada
Regional Senior Vice President Nissan Motor Asia Pacific

Read the complete white paper here.

About the study
The study "Future of Electric Vehicles in Southeast Asia" was conducted by Frost & Sullivan in January 2018 in six countries: Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. The findings are based on 1,800 online customer responses and face-to-face discussions.

The Frost & Sullivan Mobility practice provides global market intelligence, prescriptive research to execute market growth opportunities, and tailor-made advisory services within the personal and freight mobility market. To view current and upcoming research, please visit here.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies? Contact us: Start the discussion



Kalle Siebring
General Manager, Corporate Communications
Asia & Oceania
Nissan Motor Asia Pacific Co., Ltd.
Phone: +66 (0) 2339 3400 Ext. 4823
Mobile: +66 (0) 63 195 6310

Melissa Tan
Frost & Sullivan
Corporate Communications, Asia-Pacific
Phone: +65 6890 0926


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