Motormouth: Are EVs really the way forward? Mazda's CEO doesn't seem to think so

Published by on . Updated on 30 May 2024

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1713859486831 Motormouth Are Evs Really The Way Forward Mazda Ceo Masahiro Moro Doesnt Seem To Think So Featured

With multiple brands delaying their commitments to electric-only vehicle production, it seems that petrol-powered and hybrid vehicles still have some life left in them. In an interview with Bloomberg, Mazda CEO Masahiro Moro has some thoughts as to why.

Masahiro Moro, CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation, said,” I see a great potential in hybrid (vehicles). That is a product solution for customers, there is no anxiety for range”, expressing confidence in regular internal combustion engine (ICE) and hybrid cars outselling EVs in the short-term period.  

Range anxiety, as Moro mentioned, is one of the biggest downsides of EV ownership, that being the anxiety one gets from being worried about running out of juice in an area with no chargers and being stranded with a flat battery.

In 2022, there were 3,634 new EVs registered in Singapore, out of 9,208 EVs total, this figure made up about 0.95% of the total vehicle population in 2022. In 2023, however, 5,468 new EVs were registered, demonstrating a year-on-year growth of 18.1%. The total number of electric cars now stands at 16,262, making up 1.68% of the total vehicle population. 

So now that we know the EV population is growing healthily, can the same be said for the required supporting infrastructure? There are currently an estimated 3,800 chargers in Singapore or one charger for every four EVs, this number is an increase from the 2,500 chargers in 2022 but it is definitely nowhere near as much growth as the EV population.

The question is how does this affect consumer behaviour? Given that most existing fast chargers are located within commercial malls and/or offices, and that AC charging takes from four to eight hours to fully charge an EV, it's no wonder that car owners are looking at hybrid vehicles as a preferred alternative to electric ones.

With fully electric vehicles, drivers have to plan their route carefully because if they are low on charge, a single wrong move may be enough to leave them stranded in a charger-less area. Although this may be less of an issue in bite-sized Singapore, it does mean road trips up North are either unfeasible or require a lot more pre-trip planning, something that many may be unwilling to do. 

Hence, what Moro-san says makes sense. With the current lack of infrastructural support for EVs, it seems fair to predict that ICE and hybrid vehicles will likely continue to outsell electric vehicles in the short term although it should be noted that Mazda only sells one fully electric car at the moment so Moro’s words may be motivated.

What might properly change consumers’ perspective on EV ownership is that Singapore plans to install 12,000 charging points in nearly 2000 car parks by the end of 2025 although whether or not the government can achieve this is yet to be seen. 

The Singapore government plans to install 12,000 charging stations in nearly 2,000 carparks by the end of 2025 which may be the additional infrastructure needed to give consumers the confidence to transition to electric motoring. 

What do you think? Does Mazda’s CEO Masahiro Moro's statement make sense or is it just a marketing ploy to lobby against the EV crowd?

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