Interest in electric vehicles among Filipinos dampened by lack of charging facilities

Read the Philippine-specific results of Deloitte's 2023 Global Automotive Consumer Study, with a focus on Filipinos' appetite for owning electric vehicles

4 May 2023

Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, 4 May 2023 – Within the Southeast Asian region, it appears Filipinos are least interested in a hybrid or electric vehicle for their next automobile purchase, according to Deloitte’s 2023 Global Automotive Consumer Study. Asked about their preferred engine for their next vehicle, 72 percent of Filipinos said they would like a gas or diesel engine, also known as an internal combustion engine (ICE), compared to 59 percent of Indonesians and 49 percent of Vietnamese. This represents a 10 percent drop in Filipino respondents interested in ICE compared to last year.

Interest in electric vehicles (EVs) – either hybrid or full EV – is highest among Singaporeans, with 62 percent saying they would prefer an EV for their next vehicle, followed by Thais at 60 percent.

The study was conducted between September 2022 and October 2022, with Deloitte surveying more than 26,000 consumers in 24 geographies. In Southeast Asia (SEA), 6,048 respondents were polled from six geographies: Indonesia (1,003), Malaysia (1,006), the Philippines (1,008), Singapore (1,003), Thailand (1,009), and Vietnam (1,019).

Despite government messaging around the need to address climate change, the shift to EVs is primarily based on strong consumer perception that it will significantly reduce vehicle operating costs. Across all six SEA countries, “lower fuel costs” was identified as the number one reason respondents would choose an EV. For Filipinos, this reason was followed by “better driving experience,” and “less maintenance.”

Similarly, the survey asked respondents what is giving them pause from purchasing a full battery-powered EV. Except in Singapore, “lack of public EV charging infrastructure” was the most commonly cited concern regarding battery-powered EVs; for Singaporeans, “time required to charge” was the foremost concern.

“These results underscore the importance of ensuring that a robust infrastructure is in place to support EVs before we can expect consumers to make the switch en masse. And we’re not just talking about convenient charging sites. We have to consider if we have the right workforce to service these vehicles wherever the owners may need that assistance. It also helps situate the government’s efforts at messaging and designing incentives to encourage the use of EVs so they can better align these initiatives with what consumers actually want,” said Eric Landicho, Managing Partner & CEO of Deloitte Philippines, which released the study locally.

While 69 percent of Filipinos expect they will have to charge their EVs at home for day-to-day use, 71 percent will likely be unable to either because they cannot install home chargers (26%) or the cost of doing so is too high (45%). Twenty-six percent expect to charge their vehicles at an on-street public charging station, while 5 percent expect to charge at work.

When charging on the go, 40 percent of Filipinos would prefer to do so at a dedicated EV service station, while 26 percent would opt for a traditional gas station with EV chargers. Asked about the amenities they would like to have at public charging stations, 89 percent of Filipinos said WiFi connectivity, followed by the usual coffee and beverages (77%), snacks and light meals (75%), and lounge or sitting area (73%). Forty-four percent said they would like to have access to a full-service restaurant at these stations.

The ecosystem that will likely rise around EVs as their popularity grows will open up many new opportunities for businesses, especially if you consider the amount of time EV owners expect to spend charging their vehicles,” said Landicho. According to Deloitte’s study, a quarter of Filipinos expect to spend 10 to 20 minutes for their EV to charge from empty to 80 percent at a public charging location, while 29 percent are willing to wait even longer – 21 to 40 minutes.

“That’s significantly more time spent at these stations compared to a traditional gas station, giving businesses access to a captive market. The consumer experience they provide at these venues will play a part in boosting EV adoption locally, and ultimately in helping decarbonize our transport sector,” said Landicho.

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