7 in 10 Saudi drivers to go electric when buying their next car

03 July 2024 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read

The popularity of battery-electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia continues to rise, with over 7 in 10 buyers expecting to go electric when purchasing their next car. That is according to a study by AlixPartners among 10,000 consumers in nine countries.

The transition to electrical vehicles continues to shift gear worldwide, found the survey, although the growth rates of uptake differ between regions.

In the US and Europe, roughly 4 in 10 consumers said their next car would be a battery-electric vehicle (35% and 43%), on par with a few years ago, however, in China, that number has grown to a staggering 97% – fuelled by the rapidly expanding homegrown electrical vehicles scene which is brining stylish, tech-savvy, and cost-competitive cars to market.

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Source: 2024 AlixPartners International Electric Vehicle Consumer-Sentiment Survey

“The US and Europe, regions that long served as bellwethers for consumer tastes, is lagging in electrical vehicles growth as potential buyers remain concerned about charging infrastructure – and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are being seen as a legitimate stand-in for pure battery-electric vehicles,” said Alessandro Missaglia, a UAE-based partner and managing director at AlixPartners.

In Saudi Arabia, the only Middle Eastern nation included in the study, 7 in 10 residents of Saudi Arabia are “very” or “moderately” likely to purchase a battery-electric vehicle. That figure though is projected to rise to 85% by 2035, indicating significant growth potential for the segment over the coming years.

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Source: 2024 AlixPartners International Electric Vehicle Consumer-Sentiment Survey

The China connection

The AlixPartners research found that Saudi consumers are increasingly aware of Chinese brands, a development also seen in the broader industry.

“Notably, Saudi consumers have the highest awareness of Chinese brands, with 93% of those “very likely” and “moderately likely” to buy battery-electric vehicle being aware of at least one Chinese brand. Among these brands, BYD leads in recognition. This contrasts with international figures, where 47% to 71% of potential battery-electric vehicle buyers are aware of one or more Chinese brands,” explained Missaglia.

Similar to the US and Europe, Saudi buyers anticipating to go green are increasingly considering plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as viable alternatives. “This shift reflects consumers’ desires to address immediate needs while mitigating charging and range concerns. As traditional automakers, suppliers, and dealers adapt to this transition, they face significant challenges in balancing present and future demands.”

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Source: 2024 AlixPartners International Electric Vehicle Consumer-Sentiment Survey

The AlixPartners survey had a total of 10,000 respondents, including around 1,000 respondents in the Saudi market.

In related news, previous research from Arthur D. Little found that the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are among the world’s top countries for electrical vehicles. Saudi Arabia was found to be playing catch-up.