Thailand leads ASEAN in electrified vehicle interest: study

BANGKOK, Thailand (February 4, 2021) – New Frost & Sullivan study shows that consumers across Thailand are leaders in ASEAN for electrified mobility demand, interest and awareness. With three key trends identified for Thailand - a marked increase in environmental consciousness, better understanding of electric vehicle (EV) technology and the rise of e-POWER as the next electrified mobility innovation.  

To record consumer comparisons in relation to electric mobility, the study was first undertaken in January 2018. Then conducted again by Frost & Sullivan in September 2020 across six ASEAN markets: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam. The second edition of the study was released today during ‘Nissan FUTURES – Electrification and Beyond,’ a regional webinar of industry leaders, government officials and media.

For Thailand - 43% amongst the surveyed Thai non-EV owners state they would ‘certainly’ consider an electrified vehicle as their next car purchase within the next three years. Respondents from Thailand show the most eager purchase consideration for electrified vehicles in the region, alongside Indonesia and the Philippines.

Strikingly, Thailand saw a 53% increase understanding from Thai respondents about electrified vehicles technology and how it works. There was also a significant increase to 33% of Thai participants who would consider an electrified vehicle, compared to five years ago.

New environmental push drives electric demand

For Thai respondents, the top motivating factor to purchase an EV was having a greater impact on reducing carbon emissions. Supporting this ‘green wave’ was the fact that 90% of Thai drivers knew that EVs were better for the environment, slightly higher than the regional average (88%). And a sizeable 91% of Thai survey participants said environmental impact was influential when considering an electrified vehicle purchase. Additionally, a new trend was identified, with three out of four Thai drivers saying that renewable energy sources will actually encourage buying or leasing an electrified vehicle.

The study also unveils growing environmental awareness across Southeast Asia, with respondents believing that their adoption of an electrified vehicle would undoubtedly contribute to environmental protection. In 2020, 39% of Thai respondents can be classified as ‘environmentalists’, compared to 34% in a similar research in 2018.

Barriers for adoption reduced - except one

For Thai respondents, barriers for EV adoption almost uniformly dropped between 2018 and 2020. The fear of running out of power before arriving at the charging station dropped from 58% in 2018, to 53% in 2020. Similarly, concerns over EV technology reduced from 48% to 40% in 2020.

However, for questioned Thai drivers, the only key purchase barrier that increased since 2018 was ‘concerns about limited public charging infrastructure’. This concern dropped across all other surveyed countries by an average of 9%. This finding also gave clues to the next EV trend for Thailand, being e-POWER that uses EV technology and eliminates charging. 

Next electrified mobility trend

Survey-takers identified one of the next big trends in electrified mobility in Thailand as Nissan’s e-POWER - a technology that gives consumers the EV driving experience, without needing to charge.

This was supported by the fact that 76% of Thai respondents said more charging stations were needed in residential areas, and concerns around public charging infrastructure (47%) were still barriers to making the switch to EV.

Thus when presenting the technology of e-POWER versus hybrids, plug in hybrids and ICE vehicles, the most attractive factor for Thai drivers was that e-POWER eliminates external charging but still gives the benefits of an EV. And once people learned how e-POWER technology works with a 100% electrified powertrain, there was 82% in those who rated e-POWER as ‘very attractive’ and ‘somewhat attractive’, second only to battery electric vehicles. 

An electrified ASEAN

Thailand’s results reflect a rising region-wide interest in electrified mobility. The consumer research in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore reveals that 66% of consumers across the region believe they will inevitably adopt electrified mobility as part of their lives in the near future.

In line with the 2018 findings, over three-quarters of the total recent study respondents (77%) indicate that tax benefits and installation of charging stations at residential buildings (75%) are the top-2 incentives for them to switch to an electrified vehicle. In Thailand, charging stations in residential areas was number one (76%), followed by tax incentives (73%) and EV priority lanes (50%).

“From our study, the introduction of e-POWER technology is likely to broaden the electrified vehicles market in Thailand. Although it is a very new technology, intenders of electrified vehicles find Nissan e-POWER technology to be attractive after being explained about different vehicle powertrains, and exposed to the features of the Nissan e-POWER technology,” noted Vivek Vaidya, Associate Partner and Senior Vice-President, Asia-Pacific at Frost & Sullivan.

About the study

The study ‘The Future of Electrified Vehicles in Southeast Asia,’ was conducted by Frost & Sullivan in September 2020 in six ASEAN markets: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. The findings are based on 3,000 online customer responses among car drivers in select cities, to understand customers’ awareness, attitudes, behavior and perceptions towards electrified vehicles. “Electrified vehicle” in this study means battery electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and e-POWER. It excludes full hybrid vehicles. The research is a follow-up from a study conducted in January 2018.

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