ASEAN Electric Vehicle Market Overview
The ASEAN electric vehicle market is experiencing increased product demand owing to strong government support toward electric vehicle adoption. While the concept of electric vehicles continues to capture the customer interest, subsidies by governments in regional countries are helping smoothen the transition to these vehicles by making them a valuable proposition for customers.
Additionally, several manufacturers are increasing their investments in the production of electric vehicles in the region. For instance, in June 2019, Toyota Motor Corporation announced that the company would invest nearly $2 billion for the development of electric vehicles in Indonesia. Thus, it stands to reason that such investments by market players would further drive the growth of the ASEAN electric vehicle market in the near future.
On the basis of propulsion, the ASEAN electric vehicle market has been categorized into battery electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid. Of these, hybrid electric vehicles dominated the market in 2018. This can be mainly attributed to the presence of established companies, such as Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company, which are offering hybrid electric cars in several ASEAN countries, such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Moreover, hybrid electric cars have been in the market for many years, thus enjoying a strong customer base in the region.
Based on battery type, the ASEAN electric vehicle market has been categorized into lead acid, nickel–metal hydride (NiMH), and lithium ion (Li-ion). Among these, Li-ion electric vehicles are expected to witness the fastest growth in demand during the forecast period 2019–2025. Li-ion batteries have higher energy density compared to lead acid or NiMH batteries, which results in their smaller battery size and higher energy storage capacity and, hence, higher adoption.
Thailand is one of the largest markets for electric vehicles in the ASEAN region. Despite low electric vehicle sales in the recent past, Thailand is witnessing considerable growth in its demand for electric vehicles. About 200 battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles were sold the country in 2018, witnessing over 566.7% growth in sales, from a mere 30 vehicles in 2017. Furthermore, the market in the country is expected to see triple-digit growth, which, in turn, would support the ASEAN electric vehicle market.
ASEAN Electric Vehicle Market Dynamics
Growing concerns over environmental pollution caused by conventional vehicles have led to the implementation of several regulations for automotive manufacturing and favorable government schemes (in the form of incentives and subsidies) to boost the adoption of electric vehicles. These factors are expected to continue driving the growth of the ASEAN electric vehicle market in the coming years.
With increased rate of vehicle ownership, the pollution caused by internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles has considerably risen. Since electric vehicles can help considerably reduce carbon dioxide emissions, governments in the region are working toward accelerating the sales and adoption of these vehicles. Governments of various countries in the ASEAN region are introducing several incentive schemes and subsidies to boost the adoption of these vehicles. For instance, in April 2019, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) announced the reduction in excise tax to 2% from 8% for eligible automobile companies planning to produce electric vehicles in Thailand.
Such government initiatives are helping boost the demand for electric vehicles in several countries in the region, further benefitting the ASEAN electric vehicle market.
High vehicle cost is one of the major factors hindering the growth of the ASEAN electric vehicle market. Although governments offer subsidies on such vehicles to encourage their adoption, the subsidized price is still higher than that of conventional gasoline-based vehicles. A hybrid car costs $4,000–$10,000 more than a comparable conventional car. The payback period of an electric car is generally longer due to its higher upfront cost leading to decreased interest among buyers.
The increased price of these vehicles can majorly be attributed to their high battery prices. Battery accounts for 30–40% of the total electric vehicle cost. Undeveloped battery value chain in ASEAN countries affects the price of electric vehicles to a great extent. Furthermore, inadequate infrastructure leads to range anxiety in customers, which is another factor hampering the vehicle adoption and, as a result, the growth of the ASEAN electric vehicle market.
ASEAN Electric Vehicle Market Competitive Landscape
The ASEAN electric vehicle market is currently in its growing phase. Major market players include Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Company Limited, Honda Motor Company Limited, BMW AG, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, STAR 8 (THAILAND) Company Limited, Toyotron, Viar Motor Indonesia, Zero Motorcycles Inc., Terra Motors Corporation, and Eclimo Sdn. Bhd.