- Thailand will cement its position as South East Asia’s largest electric vehicle EV market due to favourable policies aimed at fast-tracking the adoption of zero-emission vehicles.
- Malaysia and Indonesia will battle for the position of second-largest markets for EVs as the outlook for government intervention to improve the feasibility of EVs through attractive incentives remains favourable.
- While Vietnam will lag behind Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia in developing a local EV market, we expect the country to experience rapid EV sales growth over a longer time horizon as EVs become more affordable.
- We expect EV adoption in the whole South East Asia region to remain well below levels in other more developed EV markets (especially in developed markets) as still high vehicle sticker prices for EVs and a lack of public EV charging infrastructure to remain impediments to growth.
- The rise in battery prices leading to higher EV prices due to a strong rally in critical metals used in batteries will limit adoption in markets where government support is limited.
In this article we focus on the opportunities and challenges of EV adoption in the South East Asia (SEA) region as we seek to outline the next wave of EV adoption beyond developed markets including China and South Korea. The rapid rise of EV sales globally in the last few years, mainly in well-developed automotive markets, has been largely driven by the introduction of incentives to reduce the burden of purchasing still highly priced zero emission vehicles as the rapid expansion of charging infrastructure has led to consumers and businesses rethinking their move towards EVs. Automakers will now aspire to expand on zero-emission vehicle sales in emerging markets to achieve economies of scale while fulfilling decarbonisation pledges.