Savings in costs as well as their contribution to reduce carbon emissions, seven out of 10 consumers surveyed in the UAE (73%) and Saudi Arabia (69%) said that they were considering owning electric vehicles (EVs) in future.
A survey commissioned by General Motors and conducted by Morning Consult, a business intelligence company, explored the state of consumer interest in EVs, as well as awareness of long-term cost savings related to EV ownership, available EV vehicle options, and charging facilities.
Morning Consult has collected data online from 500 respondents in the UAE between February and March this year and 1000 from Saudi Arabia in December last year. The survey found that the general awareness of the concept of EVs is very high, with 95% of UAE and 93% of KSA respondents aware of them.
The awareness of EVs was also high among all age groups and across both men and women in both countries. This heightened awareness has also translated into strong purchase consideration, with a majority in both countries (63% in Saudi Arabia and 70% in UAE) strongly considering a future EV purchase. Those reporting higher EV consideration are more likely to think this will bring them cost savings, in addition to being more likely to be aware of EV infrastructure in their nation.
This favourable outlook towards EVs aligns with global EV revenue projections, anticipated to grow from around $10 billion in 2023 to approximately $90 billion annually by 2030.
Soaring Gas Prices
In the UAE, the study found that top drivers of increased EV consideration were tackling the elevated cost of gasoline and alleviation of environmental concerns, with 64% of those who are more likely to consider an EV in comparison to a year ago selecting each of these drivers as a reason for increased interest. Looking more closely into EV pricing in the UAE, 73% of consumers overall see EVs as having worthwhile cost savings versus a gasoline-powered vehicle.
In Saudi Arabia, 65% of respondents were more likely to consider an EV in comparison to a year ago and 61% of those who are more likely to consider an EV in the Kingdom cite the cost of gasoline as a factor, while 47% find that there have been more affordable EV options available in the market over the past year.
Another key insight derived from the study tackles range anxiety, with UAE participants revealing that the ideal driving range of an EV is approximately 325 km on average, while in KSA this was found to be approximately 360 km.
What’s more, 36% of respondents with increased EV purchase consideration in the Kingdom have attributed this to stem from an understanding of the longer driving range than previously available. Featuring the Ultium battery platform, GM’s EV portfolio will be capable of a driving range of more than 400 km on a single charge, depending on the vehicle, surpassing the expectations of both nations.
Jack Uppal, President & Managing Director, General Motors Africa & Middle East said that it was promising to see the rising positive sentiment towards EVs brought to light by the survey.
“As we progress towards our vision of the future of mobility, the increase in volume and variety of EV options we are anticipating bringing to market, will respond to the shift in consumer awareness and consideration brought on by the long-term benefits of ownership – from apprehension around affordability and range, towards positive sentiment towards the ownership potential of these new technologies,” he said.
As both countries work towards their carbon neutral visions, in the UAE, 38% of respondents were aware of the location of at least one convenient charging station. Four out of five (80%) of those aware of a convenient charging station said one was available where they park their car at home, with highest reported availability in public parking or shared private parking.
In Saudi Arabia, two out of five respondents (40%) claimed awareness of a charging station, however, only one in five (17%) found this to be in a convenient location to their home or workplace. This indicates understanding of ongoing efforts to drive forward infrastructure, as well as room for further development.