More Thais open to buying battery-powered vehicles

More Thais open to buying battery-powered vehicles

An electric vehicle on display at last year's Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
An electric vehicle on display at last year's Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Some 31% of Thais are projected to choose a battery electric vehicle (BEV) as their next vehicle, the highest proportion within Southeast Asia, although internal combustion engine-powered cars remain the leading vehicle of choice among consumers in the region, according to a survey by business advisory Deloitte Thailand.

Both Thai and regional consumers indicated a preference for new cars for their next vehicle.

Thais are expected to buy their next vehicle based on product quality, the vehicle's features and the brand's image, said Chodok Panyavaranant, Deloitte Thailand's clients and market manager.

The findings were based on Deloitte's latest survey on consumer behaviour in the industry, especially regarding the EV trend. It was conducted between September and October last year.

The interviews covered more than 6,000 consumers in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore, with a sample of around 1,000 Thai consumers.

"Demand for EVs is growing across the region as consumers want to reduce their fuel expense," said Mr Chodok.

Lower fuel costs are still the leading reason among consumers to switch to an EV.

Among the reasons for choosing a BEV among Thai consumers were a better driving experience and a car that can also be used as a backup battery.

The survey results came as EVs are being promoted by the Thai government. The cabinet approved a package of incentives last year including tax cuts and subsidies to promote EV consumption and production during the period 2022-2023.

For those choosing a BEV as their next vehicle, the biggest concern among Thai consumers (at 48%) and regional consumers (at 54%) was a lack of availability of public charging infrastructure, followed by the time required to charge a BEV, and the price of BEVs.

According to Deloitte, 64% of Thai consumers would be willing to wait between 10-60 minutes for the car's battery to charge, while 41% expect a driving range of 300-500 kilometres per charge.

Plugging in BEVs at home was the most popular choice. In public locations, 51% of consumers in the region would prefer to charge their EV at a dedicated EV service station, while 26% would go to a traditional gas station that has EV chargers.

A smartphone app was the most popular choice when paying for public EV charging among both Thai respondents (67%) and Southeast Asian respondents (51%).

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