C! Report, part 1of3: Nissan’s take on electric vehicles in SEA and the PH

How open is the market towards buying EVs?

With the advent of advanced technology and finding sustainable sources of power and ultimately revenue for the automotive industry, electric vehicle production and sales have been on a constant rise. Manufacturers have brought their own take on electrification and worldwide acceptance has been rather positive.

The market in South East Asia, however, has yet to catch up to other countries and continents. As it stands, it is likely that it will – and maybe sooner than we think.

During the recently concluded Nissan Futures, a gathering of industry leaders, government officials, and media, Singapore served as the stage to talk about electric vehicles and its vast potential in the entire region. In a Nissan-commissioned study titled “Future of Electronic Vehicles in South East Asia” by Frost & Sullivan, participated in by respondents from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, it was seen that a staggering 37% of prospective buyers are open to purchasing an EV. What’s more interesting is that among these countries, those that are most keen on EVs are from Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Locally, car owners and those looking to purchase cars are slowly but sure opening their eyes towards the benefits of owning and EV. That being said, it does come with certain “provisions” from a customer’s point of view. The main considerations, also according to the study, are safety and charging convenience. Despite earlier assumptions that pricing is a very big factor in their decision to go ahead with a purchase, this has been debunked. As a matter of fact, those who were surveyed were actually more than willing to pay the electric premium compared to that of a conventional car. It goes without saying, though, that lower prices would make electric vehicles a lot more attractive right from the get-go.

On the flipside and looking at deterrents from buying an EV, range anxiety and a lack of knowledge top the list. These notwithstanding, overall intention and the countries’ familiarity and association with electrified vehicles are still relatively very high.

Intention to buy EVs, by country Association with BEVs, by country


“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,” Yutaka Sanada, regional senior vice president at Nissan, said at Nissan Futures. “Consumers in Southeast Asia have indicated that governments have a critical role to play in the promotion of electric vehicles.”

Vivek Vaidya, senior vice president of mobility at Frost & Sullivan, added: “The current uptake rate of electric vehicles isn’t a true reflection of underlying demand, which is much stronger. Contrary to popular belief that the high cost of EVs 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 EVs can be reached.”

Given the new TRAIN law that has been passed by the PH government, it will be very interesting to hear and see where this will take us, and the entire industry.