Embracing the Green Drive: Exploring Thais' Perceptions of Electric Vehicles

84% of Thais say they are likely to buy an electric vehicle for their next purchase.

In recent years, the global automotive industry has witnessed a paradigm shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly transportation, with electric vehicles (EVs) emerging as a promising alternative. Thailand, too, is not immune to this trend, as evidenced by a recent survey revealing that a staggering 84% of Thais are likely to consider EVs for their next vehicle purchase. In this article, we delve into the reasons driving this positive inclination, as well as the potential obstacles that may hinder the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Thailand. 


Positive Perceptions and Driving Forces:

  1. Environmental Consciousness (70%): The survey highlights that a significant 70% of Thais are motivated to consider EVs due to their perceived positive impact on the environment. This suggests a growing awareness and concern for sustainable practices among Thai consumers, as they seek ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

  2. Cost Savings (65%): Financial considerations also play a pivotal role in Thais' decision-making, with 65% expressing that the prospect of saving money on petrol is a compelling reason to opt for an EV. The economic benefit of lower operating costs resonates strongly with consumers, fostering a dual motivation for both environmental and financial responsibility.

  3. Silent Engines and Performance (43% and 33%): The quiet operation of electric vehicles compared to traditional petrol cars appeals to 43% of respondents, signaling a shift in preferences towards a more serene driving experience. Additionally, 33% cite better performance as a key factor in their willingness to embrace EV technology.

  4. Maintenance Cost and Government Incentives (37% and 26%): Affordable maintenance, a concern for 37% of Thais, further bolsters the attractiveness of EVs. The survey also highlights that government incentives, acknowledged by 26% of respondents, are influential in steering consumers towards electric alternatives.

Potential Obstacles and Concerns:

  1. Insufficient Charging Infrastructure (58%): Despite the enthusiasm for EVs, the lack of a robust charging infrastructure poses a significant challenge, with 58% expressing concerns about insufficient charging stations. This highlights the need for extensive infrastructure development to support the growing demand for electric vehicles.

  2. High Initial Costs (48%): While the long-term savings are evident, the initial high cost of purchasing an EV remains a barrier for 48% of Thais. Government incentives and increased market competition could play a role in mitigating this concern and making EVs more accessible.

  3. Limited Driving Distance and Long Charging Times (42% and 37%): Concerns about limited driving distance (42%) and long charging times (37%) reflect the need for continued advancements in battery technology and charging infrastructure. Overcoming these challenges is crucial for the wider acceptance of EVs in Thailand.

  4. Safety and Environmental Concerns (34% and 18%): Worries about the safety of the EV system and battery (34%) and concerns regarding pollution during the manufacturing process (18%) underscore the importance of addressing both the perceived and actual environmental impacts associated with electric vehicles.

  5. Aesthetic Preferences and Charger Setup (15% and 14%): While a relatively smaller percentage, 15% of respondents express a dislike for the designs of current EV models, suggesting that aesthetics remain a consideration for some buyers. Additionally, 14% find the setup of wall chargers to be complicated, signaling a need for user-friendly charging solutions.

About the study

These findings are based on data from Ipsos.Digital platform. The results are based on an online survey from August 2023 with over 300 adults aged 18-60 in Thailand. 

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