Hybrid EVs

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Greater demand for hybrid EVs by APAC consumers

  • APAC revealed a stronger preference to purchase EVs in the future, with more than half of consumers (60% in APAC) preferring hybrid EVs.
  • 19% of automotive industry decision-makers foresee an increased focus on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle production over the next five years.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) including hybrid EVs are on the cusp of mass adoption in Asia Pacific (APAC) – there is no denying that. Despite the region being around three to four years behind Europe in EV adoption, APAC is transitioning to a full electric fleet faster than rest. Demand grew in leaps and bounds, with more consumers revealing a preference for EVs.

It was highlighted in the Automotive Ecosystem Vision Study by Zebra Technologies recently that automotive manufacturers are under pressure to accommodate consumers’ growing preference for EVs in the near future. The study was based on a survey conducted between August and September 2022, with participation from 1,336 respondents globally. In APAC, the 350 respondents were surveyed across Greater China, Japan, India and South Korea.

“More than half of consumers (53% globally, 60% in APAC) indicate their future preference is for hybrid EVs,” the study shows. Given the circumstance and despite a fluctuating economy, automotive manufacturers are ready to invest in technology innovation, with seven out of 10 surveyed (74% globally, 69% in APAC) expect to increase their tech spend. 

APAC wants it all: Hybrid and EVs

As increasing demand comes increasing challenges, the study also highlighted that 60% of APAC automotive industry decision-makers say they are under high pressure to produce next generation EVs while 71% of them are under pressure to deliver products that are more eco-friendly, sustainable, and safer for the environment.

Consumers on the other hand, spanning multiple generations, have been the driving force behind automotive manufacturers’ acceleration in technological innovation. “Within APAC, 85% of consumers were aligned with these key priorities, consisting of 92% of millennials, 83% of Gen Xers and 72% of Baby Boomers prioritize sustainability the highest,” the report noted.

Consumers are also driving the growing emphasis on personalization – the ability to customize a vehicle to their liking. While the majority (77%) of automotive industry decision-makers in APAC recognize consumers expect more sustainable and personalized vehicle options today, seven in 10 concede it’s difficult to keep up with increasing customization demands. Therefore, the study reckons automakers are expected to build more strategic partnerships with tech companies for their next generation of production.

“Automotive decision-makers must take the necessary steps to meet the increasing customer expectations by actively investing more in safe technologies and robust infrastructure. Meeting regulations and sustainability expectations will be a priority moving forward, as the automotive sector strives to provide real-time visibility throughout the supply chain, which can be achieved by digitizing operations via RFID and rugged mobile computers,” Tan concluded. 

In the whole of Asia, besides China, Thailand is slowly emerging as a hub for EVs and hybrid vehicles alike, especially within the Southeast Asian region. The country has even set a bold goal of selling only zero-emission vehicles from 2035 onwards and since 2022, there has been a shift to battery EVs in Thailand from hybrid EVs. Especially due to their lower price compared to all-electric cars, hybrids have gained increasing popularity in Thailand since the first models were introduced in 2009, as per Statista.

During 2022, the sales volume of hybrid EVs in Thailand amounted to almost 42000, the highest among other types of EVs, data from Statista shows. That same year, the sales volume of all three types of EVs in the country grew by 48%. The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) predicts that for this year, Thailand’s EV market will continue to gain momentum, with sales expected to reach between 25,000 and 35,000 units.