The year 2022 witnessed under 2% of the region’s total passenger vehicle sales passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales in Southeast Asia (SEA), as per Counterpoint’s Global Passenger Electric Vehicle Model Sales Tracker. Thailand emerged as the most advanced, accounting for 58% of the region’s EV sales, followed by Indonesia and Vietnam. EV sales in Thailand comprised 3% of total automobile sales in 2022.
As per the latest research from Counterpoint’s SEA Passenger Electric Vehicle Model Sales, Thailand has again emerged as the leading country,with the most battery electric vehicle sales in the first three months of this year. The consistent progress in EVs sales is due to the Thailand’s government plans to push EV sales through highly favourable government policies that comprehensively incentivise investors in the EV sector’s supply chain and car buyers.
Thailand is reported to be the Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. It is reported to be witness the highest proportion of battery-electric vehicles in total passenger vehicle sales, followed by Singapore and Vietnam. the region’s passenger battery electric vehicle sales grew by almost ten times year-on-year (YoY) in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1,23).
Dwelling on the share of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the report says that total passenger vehicle sales experienced significant growth in Q1 2023, reaching 3.8% compared to a mere 0.3% one year ago. While, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales saw a modest YoY growth of 5.8%.
“Thailand emerged as the leading country, capturing over 75% of the BEV sales, followed by Indonesia and Vietnam,” the report stated.
It may be noted that Thailand is home to the the largest automotive industry in Southeast Asia and is reported to be the 10th largest in the world, according to the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI). Moreover, it aims to transition 30% of its auto production to EVs by 2030.
“The initial focus is to promote EV sales within the country, then replace its automobile export with EVs. The production-led EV policy is bearing fruit,” says the report. “Thailand’s government-led efforts to promote EV sales have yielded positive outcomes, while Indonesia and Vietnam are also performing well in the region,” Counterpoint’s research analyst Abhilash Gupta said in a statement. He however, said, “ Malaysia, the Philippines, and Myanmar require additional regulatory support and encouragement to foster EV growth.”
He further stated, “Despite overall passenger vehicle sales remaining relatively stagnant, the sales of BEVs have experienced a significant and rapid expansion. Besides, the market for hybrid electric vehicles have experienced remarkable growth in SEA, playing a pivotal role in transitioning from traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs.”
Another Counterpoint’s senior analyst Soumen Mandal revealed about the significant rise in FDIs in the EV sector in the past year. “Notably, several Chinese automakers, including Great Wall Motors, BYD, Hozon New Energy, and Changan Automobile, have shown interest in establishing or have already commenced the construction of production facilities in Thailand,” he said.
Moreover, the report said that other nations such as Indonesia aslo announced a subsidy package in March 2023 to promote the purchase and manufacturing of EVs, with a particular focus on increasing local production. The move is expected to accelerate the production and sales of EVs in the region.
The report also indicated the rapid growth of the Chinese auto groups that are outpacing their competitors in the SEA region, with their market share increasing from 38% a year ago to nearly 75%. “For instance, in the first three months of this year alone, BYD Group emerged as the BEV leader in the SEA region, capturing the majority of sales, followed by Hozon New Energy and SAIC Group,”said the report.
“These top three groups collectively accounted for over 68% of the BEV market. Geely Holding Group claimed the top position in the PHEV market, followed by BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz Group,” Gupta said.
As per Counterpoint’s report, BYD’s Atto 3 was the best-selling BEV across SEA, followed by the Neta V and Tesla Model Y. While, it said, in PHEVs, Volvo’s XC60 as the most sold, followed by the BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.