Thai drivers like EVs, but infrastructure a deal-breaker –

When it comes to owning an electric vehicle, nearly three out of four Thai motorists say the current charging infrastructure is a deal-breaker, the Bangkok Post reports. According to a new ABeam Consulting Thailand study, Thai drivers do have an appetite for EVs, with 55% of respondents believing that owning an EV is more cost-effective than an ICE-powered car in the long run.

Approximately 48% believe that EVs “offer reliable quality,” and 41% said they would enjoy driving an electric car. Seven out of 10 drivers (71%) are of the belief that buying an electric car will help against climate change, whereas 43% agree that the Thai government is sufficiently incentivising EV adoption. This is reflected in the increasing number of EVs sold in the country.

However, despite being so highly favoured, the study found that only 3% of respondents who plan to purchase a new car in the next three years will actually buy an EV. The main reason is due to the lack of a comprehensive charging infrastructure.

About 72% of the respondents believe the current charging network in Thailand is inadequate, and 67% can’t get over range anxiety. Half of them will feel that the charging network should cover 80% of the country in order to make EVs more feasible, but as of right now, there are only 1,000 public charge points compared to 30,000 petrol stations spread throughout the kingdom.

Also, the study found that half are worried about lengthy charge times, and 66% want their EVs to be fully charged up in less than an hour.

ABeam Consulting Thailand’s head of ASEAN automotive strategy, Vargas Ruiz said: “As EV adoption grows, charging infrastructure needs to do the same as drivers will need a place to charge. While there was good growth of charging stations in 2020 due to good partnerships being established between car manufacturers and energy providers, more needs to be done to strengthen the infrastructure and incentivise collaboration.”

“Technology is now available to simulate traffic patterns, congestion and commuting routes and this can help identify the best locations for EV charging stations in Bangkok initially, but this has to happen soon or an opportunity may be missed.”

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