As awareness towards the availability and benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) rises across the region, seven out of ten consumers surveyed in the UAE (73%) and Saudi Arabia (69%) are eager to explore the cost savings brought about by an electric vehicle. A survey commissioned by General Motors and conducted by Morning Consult 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.
The survey found that the general awareness of the concept of electric vehicles is very high, with 95% of UAE and 93% of KSA respondents aware of all-electric vehicles. The awareness of EVs is also consistently high among all age groups and across both men and women in both countries surveyed. 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 favorable 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 . The regional growth in consideration also aligns with carbon neutral strategies across the region, which has prompted more awareness across Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in turn driving a deeper understanding of EV offerings and their benefits. 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.
Within Saudi Arabia on the other hand, 65% of respondents are more likely to consider an EV in comparison to a year ago. 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 kilometers on a single charge, depending on the vehicle, surpassing the expectations of both nations.
Jack Uppal, President & Managing Director, General Motors Africa & Middle East shared, “It is promising to see the rising positive sentiment towards EVs brought to light by this Morning Consult survey. As we progress towards our vision of the future of mobility, the increase in volume and variety of EV options we are anticipating to bring 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. We will deliver on our commitment to offer an electric vehicle for every wallet and every customer and driving this change towards a vision of future mobility across electrification, autonomy, and connectivity.”
Looking more closely at infrastructure, as both countries work towards their carbon neutral visions, in the UAE, over one-third (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. Action is firmly underway on this front, with Riyadh’s ambitious goal to have 30% of all vehicles in the city be powered by electricity by 2030, while the UAE is already home to 600 charging points with a drastic growth plan to be achieved before 2050.
Uppal further elaborated, “Each market will understandably have a different approach and timeframe to infrastructure solutions to accommodate for the mass rollout of electric vehicles. At GM, we are focused on a customer-centric approach by enabling charging capabilities at customers’ homes. We are firmly aligned with the regional leaders on a shared vision when it comes to an electrified future of mobility.”
Supported by the positive outlook towards EVs, General Motors will continue to develop and roll out a range of solutions, and explore combinations of public infrastructure, home solutions and community solutions with local governments to suit each market’s needs. This focus feeds into ongoing work to achieving the long-term strategy in place, guided by a vision of a future with Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions and Zero Congestion.