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February 6, 2018

50 Percent of Filipino Car Buyers Are Open to Buying Electric Vehicles

One in three Southeast Asian consumers planning to buy a car are open to purchasing an electric vehicle or EV, a Nissan-commissioned study shows. The study, done by Frost & Sullivan, a global consulting company, demonstrates the region’s strong potential to speed up electrification of mobility.

Leading the survey is the Philippines where 46 percent of prospective buyers surveyed is open to consider an EV as their next car purchase, followed by Thailand (44 percent), Indonesia (41 percent), Malaysia (37 percent), Vietnam (33 percent), and Singapore (23 percent).

The encouraging results of this study has resulted in Nissan’s plan to introduce the Leaf EV to 7 more markets in the region: Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand within the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year (April 2018 to March 2019). And given the strong demand for EVs in the Philippines, the Japanese carmaker is also accelerating its plans to bring the Leaf into the country. They are currently studying demand with a potential launch by the next fiscal year (2019-2020) along range extender equipped e-Power.

“The new Nissan Leaf is the most advanced, yet accessible 100 percent electric vehicle on the planet,” Nissan Regional Senior Vice President Yutaka Sanada said. “This ingenuous car will make you feel more confident, more excited, more connected than any other mainstream electric vehicle. The launch in so many markets shows our commitment to playing a leading role in electrification in this dynamic region, and to delivering the future of mobility to the region now.”

Launching an EV into the region isn’t without its challenges, however.

Contrary to popular belief, cost isn’t a deterrent, since customers are willing to pay up to 50 percent more for an EV. Two out of three respondents ranked safety (such as being flood-proof) as the most important factor followed by charging convenience and battery range.

While potential demand for electric vehicles is significant, adoption barriers remain, including a lack of knowledge. Range anxiety – the fear of running out of power – is the main barrier. Customers are also unsure about safety standards for electric vehicles.

“As car manufacturers, we need to do a better job in explaining that EVs are indeed a safe, smart, and sustainable option in all weather conditions,” Sanada added. “Nissan’s electric vehicles undergo extremely rigorous testing in the most severe conditions (including cold, heat, and flood testing). We are very proud that our 300,000 Nissan Leaf customers have driven more than 3.9 billion kilometers around the world since 2010, without experiencing any critical incidents with the batteries.”

This is a sentiment echoed by Nic Thomas, Global Director of Electric Vehicles at Nissan. “Yes, there are videos you see on YouTube of EVs catching fire in an accident, but not one is a Nissan.”

Aside from safety, Thomas also stressed that EVs offer a more practical ownership since they offer significantly reduced running costs compared to traditional Internal Combustion Engined (ICE) vehicles. Nissan says it can costs up to 80 percent less for the owner. Furthermore, at its expected end-of-life (10-15 years), the battery alone can be resold at around US$ 2,000 (P 103,000)—significantly higher than the resale value of a conventional car at the same age.

You can read the entire Frost & Sullivan white paper here.

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