Press release

31 May 2022 Singapore, SG

Tipping point reached as more than half of global car buyers seek electric vehicle for the first time

The number of consumers looking to buy electric vehicles (EVs) has hit a global tipping point, according to the latest EY Mobility Consumer Index.

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Media Relations Lead (Assurance, Tax, Strategy and Transactions, Growth Markets), Ernst & Young Solutions LLP

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Related topics LAW
  • 52% of global car buyers (Singapore 56%) want an electric vehicle
  • First time that EV appetite has passed 50% mark, rising 22 points in just two years
  • Confidence in charging range and infrastructure grow

The number of consumers looking to buy electric vehicles (EVs) has hit a global tipping point, according to the latest EY Mobility Consumer Index, which shows that 52% of respondents looking to buy a car want to buy an EV. This is the first time the number has exceeded 50%, representing a rise of 22 percentage points in just two years.

The survey of 13,000 people in 18 countries, including over 300 from Singapore, shows that car buyers in Italy (73%), China (69%) and South Korea (63%) are the most committed to buying an EV, while consumers in Australia (38%) and the US (29%) are the least committed. In Singapore, 56% of the surveyed car buyers are looking to buy an EV. By age group, the millennials (global 34%, Singapore 44%) make up the highest proportion of potential EV car buyers. 

Among the global respondents, environmental concerns are cited as the main driver for respondents to buy an EV (38%), although rising penalties on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles featured for the first time as a key concern (34%).

The survey also shows that those looking to buy an EV are willing to pay a premium. Eighty-eight percent of global respondents say they would pay more, and 35% are willing to pay a premium of 20% or more, in keeping with 2021’s findings.  

Benjamin Chiang, EY Asean Government & Public Sector Leader says:

“These findings mark a tipping point in the global car buying market. Consumers are becoming increasingly socially and environmentally conscious, which is the biggest motivator behind EV adoption. Additionally, initiatives by the Singapore government, such as the EV Early Adoption Incentive and Enhanced Vehicular Emissions Scheme (EVES), which provide up to S$45,000 in rebates to lower the upfront cost of EVs, have helped to encourage car buyers to consider EVs.”

Confidence in charging range and infrastructure grow

The survey also shows that those who already own EVs are less worried about “range anxiety” (how far EVs can travel on one charge) or charging infrastructure. The top motivator for second time EV buyers is that “EVs now have longer ranges”, and just 27% of EV owners were concerned about charging infrastructure compared to 36% of those currently without an EV.

A significant majority (global 81%, Singapore 75%) of surveyed EV owners are using home-charging facilities at least once a week, while shopping mall or retail locations emerge as the most-preferred non-residential charging location. 

Tony Canavan, EY Global Transport Leader says:

“As charging infrastructure continues to grow and battery quality continues to increase, we will start to see diminishing concerns over charging facilities and the range of EVs. Notably, the Singapore government’s commitment to deploy 60,000 charging stations by 2030 would add to buyer confidence. At the same time, the requirement for all new car registrations to be of cleaner-energy models from 2030 sets the pace for the nation to evolve its land transportation ecosystem to be more sustainable."

Mobility shifts ahead

The survey also reveals that work- and nonwork-related travel have remained below pre-pandemic levels even as countries are lifting restrictions. Although offices are reopening, the new norms of flexible and hybrid working arrangements and increasingly digital lifestyles are persistent factors in reducing overall travel patterns. Globally, travel is expected to come down by 11% for work-related travel (Singapore 13%) and 8% for nonwork-related travel (Singapore 14%).

Chiang says:

“Work-related travel will unlikely return to pre-pandemic levels as hybrid work arrangement looks here to stay. For Singapore, new urban planning initiatives, which include more ‘car-lite’ precincts and expansion of cycling path networks, will encourage more people to walk, cycle or take public transport for their work and nonwork journeys. This helps to move Singapore toward a more sustainable land transport ecosystem.”


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