KSA Is Ready for an Electric Vehicle Boom, According to AlixPartners Study

The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is on the rise globally, with Saudi Arabia showing significant growth potential in the market. According to AlixPartners’ 2024 International Electric Vehicle Consumer-Sentiment Survey, 7 in 10 residents of Saudi Arabia are likely to purchase a battery-electric vehicle (BEV), a number projected to increase to 85% by 2035. This indicates a promising future for EVs in the country. This article will delve into the key findings of the survey, highlighting the factors influencing consumer sentiment towards EVs in Saudi Arabia and the growing awareness of Chinese BEV brands in the market.

Factors Influencing Consumer Sentiment in Saudi Arabia
Costs and charging infrastructure are primary concerns for global consumers when choosing a BEV. Nevertheless, respondents in Saudi Arabia are more focused on safety, complexity, and aftermarket concerns. While concerns about costs are present, they are less prominent than in other countries. Charging flexibility and extended range are key factors leading consumers to choose plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) over BEVs in the Kingdom, aligning with trends in the USA and Europe. Interestingly, a high percentage of those considering a BEV in Saudi Arabia are also open to choosing a PHEV for their next vehicle purchase or lease, indicating a growing interest in alternative options among consumers.

The Shift towards PHEVs in Saudi Arabia
Alessandro Missaglia, Partner & Managing Director at AlixPartners, notes a parallel trend in Saudi Arabia to the USA and Europe, where consumers are increasingly considering PHEVs as viable alternatives to BEVs. This shift reflects the desire to address immediate needs while addressing concerns related to charging and range. Traditional automakers, suppliers, and dealers are facing challenges in balancing present demands with future expectations as consumer preferences evolve.

The Rise of Chinese BEV Brands in Saudi Arabia
The survey also highlights a significant trend in Saudi Arabia’s EV landscape, with Chinese BEV manufacturers gaining traction in the market. Following success in their domestic market, Chinese brands are now eyeing international expansion, with a particular focus on Saudi Arabia. The survey reveals that Saudi consumers have the highest awareness of Chinese BEV brands, with a majority of potential BEV buyers being familiar with at least one Chinese brand. Among these brands, BYD stands out in terms of recognition. This contrasts with global figures, where awareness of Chinese brands is lower among potential buyers. However, the imminent production of Lucid and Ceer is expected to disrupt the market dynamics, potentially leading to a shift in brand awareness and consumer preferences. Agility is key for Chinese and local manufacturers to maintain their competitive edge in Saudi Arabia’s evolving EV landscape.

The AlixPartners’ 2024 International Electric Vehicle Consumer-Sentiment Survey sheds light on the growing interest in EVs in Saudi Arabia, with a majority of residents showing a willingness to purchase BEVs. Factors such as safety, complexity, and aftermarket concerns influence consumer sentiment in the country, while the appeal of PHEVs as alternatives to BEVs is on the rise. Chinese BEV brands are gaining prominence in Saudi Arabia, with high awareness levels among consumers. As the EV market continues to evolve, manufacturers and industry players must adapt to changing consumer preferences and market dynamics to capitalize on growth opportunities in the Kingdom.

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