Majority of Thai motorists plan to buy an electric vehicle within the next 5 years

Nissan Kicks ePower, which recently went on sale in Thailand.

Most Thai motorists are planning to purchase an electric vehicle or hybrid within in the next five years.

According to an IPSOS poll carried out in February, 48% of Thais plan to purchase an electric vehicle by 2026.

The research also found that electric vehicles now enjoy near-universal recognition in Thailand, with 99% of respondents indicating that they know about them.

The majority of respondents cited the vehicles’ eco-friendliness as the main motive for planning to purchase an EV.

Respondents also cited the vehicles’ lower maintenance and charging costs as motives for their interest.

However, 36% of those who said they would not buy an EV cited the vehicle’s high price as the main reason for rejecting electric vehicles.

Another stumbling block for would-be buyers was so-called ‘range anxiety’.

A significant number of respondents said they were put off the idea of buying an EV because of low range per charge and the limited availability of chargers.

As Bangkok motorists in 2019 spent an average of 64 hours stuck in traffic, coupled with the capital’s ever increasing congestion, EV’s low range per charge and the limited availability of charging stations throughout Thailand are perhaps understandably  prohibitive for some Thai motorists.

IPSOS also found that EVs are increasingly being talked about online by people in Thailand. Most of these discussions are taking place on internet forums especially on automotive-related sites, and dedicated social media groups.

Despite not officially being on sale in Thailand, Tesla dominates the EV conversation among Thais online.

However, the the British-turned-Chinese manufacturer MG, which has pioneered EV in Thailand came a close second, followed by Nissan, whose new Kicks model was praised for exciting and powerful, replacing the brand’s image of slowness and inefficiency.

The research also found that while Toyota and Honda lead the way in terms of hybrid vehicles, they suffered a limited share of discussions online, as the two brands were yet to release a fully electric car when the survey was being carried out.

The news comes as Thailand aims to sell only electric vehicles after 2035.