Saudi drivers poised for 85 percent battery-electric vehicles adoption by 2035: Study

Currently, around 70 percent of the country's population have expressed moderate to strong interest in owning BEVs 
Saudi drivers poised for 85 percent battery-electric vehicles adoption by 2035: Study
In Saudi Arabia, cost and charging are less of a concern for BEV buyers compared to other countries. 

Approximately 85 percent of residents in Saudi Arabia are likely to purchase battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2035, according to a global management consulting firm’s study.

The study, conducted by AlixPartners, found that currently around 70 percent of the country’s population have expressed moderate to strong interest in owning BEVs.

In comparison, the survey showed that in China, the world’s largest automobile market, the “very” or “moderately” likely BEV-purchase intention is nearing totality, while growth in sentiment for pure BEVs stagnates at 35-43 percent in the US and Europe.

Priorities of Saudi consumers

While costs and charging are the primary concerns globally when selecting a BEV, respondents in Saudi Arabia show less concern about financial matters compared to other countries. Instead, they place greater emphasis on issues such as safety, the complexity of the vehicles, and aftermarket support. Notably, 93 percent of Saudi respondents who are “very” or “moderately” likely to consider a BEV also show a corresponding inclination towards selecting a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) for their next vehicle purchase or lease.

Shift towards PHEVs

Alessandro Missaglia, AlixPartners’ partner and managing director, commented on this trend, stating that “In Saudi Arabia, we are witnessing a parallel trend to the USA and Europe, where BEV-intentioned buyers are increasingly considering PHEVs as viable alternatives.” This shift reflects consumers’ desires to address immediate needs while mitigating charging and range concerns, he added.

Read more: Lucid and EVIQ collaborate to establish high-speed EV charging infrastructure in Saudi Arabia

Prominence of Chinese BEV brands

The survey also highlighted a notable trend in Saudi Arabia’s EV market, indicating that Chinese BEV manufacturers, having refined their products extensively in their domestic market, are now ready for global expansion. Notably, Saudi consumers exhibit the highest awareness of Chinese BEV brands, with 93 percent of those “very” or “moderately” likely to purchase BEVs being familiar with at least one Chinese brand, among which BYD leads in recognition. This contrasts with international figures, where 47 to 71 percent of potential BEV buyers are aware of one or more Chinese brands.

Saudi battery-electric vehicles

Disruptive market dynamics

Missaglia commented on this, stating that “Interestingly, our survey highlights a substantial awareness of Chinese BEV brands, in fact highest, in Saudi Arabia, which coincides with the high share of Chinese brands in the Kingdom (16 percent).” However, he added that the imminent production of Lucid and Ceer in the region is poised to disrupt existing market dynamics, underscoring the need for agile strategies from both Chinese and local manufacturers to sustain their competitive advantage in Saudi Arabia’s rapidly evolving EV landscape.

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