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Many would consider buying electric cars

Released at: 09:33, 07/02/2018

Many would consider buying electric cars

Photo: Nissan

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

by Hong Nhung

One in three Southeast Asian consumers planning to buy a car are open to purchasing an electric vehicle, a recent study reveals, demonstrating the region’s strong potential to speed up the electrification of mobility.

The Nissan-commissioned study by Frost & Sullivan, entitled “Future of Electric Vehicles in Southeast Asia”, was released few days ago in Singapore at Nissan Futures, a gathering of industry leaders, government officials, and media.

The consumer research in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam showed that 37 per cent of prospective buyers would consider an electric vehicle as their next car.

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

Across the region, two out of three consumers identified safety standards as the most important factor if they were to purchase an electric vehicle, followed by charging convenience. Contrary to common perceptions, cost was not a deterrent. In fact, customers surveyed were willing to pay more to own an electric vehicle, compared with a comparable motor car.

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

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,” said Mr. Yutaka Sanada, Regional Senior Vice President at Nissan. “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 electric vehicles are indeed a safe, smart, and sustainable option in all weather conditions,” he went on. “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 km around the world since 2010 without experiencing any critical incidents with batteries.”

“The current uptake rate of electric vehicles isn’t a true reflection of underlying demand, which is much stronger,” said Mr. Vivek Vaidya, Senior Vice President of Mobility at Frost & Sullivan. “Contrary to popular belief that the high cost of electric vehicles 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 electric vehicles can be reached.”

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