Challenges in the ASEAN Electric Car Market Reported by the Business Times, according to a report by Bain & Company, titled “Finding a New Route to Southeast Asia’s Electric Vehicle Future”, ASEAN’s annual new investment in passenger electric vehicles will reach US$6 billion by 2030. This will require another $500 million in new charging infrastructure and billions invested in related areas such as in telematics, fleets and their management, and passenger services. Furthermore, the growth of ASEAN’s electric vehicle market is likely to be led by taxis and commercial fleets, or even two-wheeled vehicles—rather than passenger cars.
However, growth will be slow over the next few years and the region’s electric vehicle growth will increase tremendously only after 2025, due to obstacles in widespread consumer adoption:
Supply: Lack of supply of electric vehicles in the region as there is little economic incentive to push electric vehicles onto Southeast Asia.
Consumer economics: Limited supply means higher prices and the problem is intensified by policies which discourage imports to favour local production. This limits the car-buying population from purchasing electric vehicles which further discourages imports.
Government incentives: There is little support from Asean governments to encourage electric vehicle sales and incentives have been limited.
Charging infrastructure: With low adoption, charging infrastructure is insufficient which in turn slows down adoption.
The report also identifies several potential ways forward for the industry:
Commercial fleets: Fleet owners can develop their own charging infrastructure and their higher-intensity operations will offer a stronger economic cause.
Two-wheeled vehicles: Incentives for two-wheeled electric vehicles would help the neediest segment of society and make it easier to scale back fuel subsidies and encourage local manufacturing.
Disruption through new models: An alternative option is the launch of new vehicle models: smaller, lower-cost electric cars designed for use in cities, instead of high performance luxury models.
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