OCBC-NUS study to look into what would make people buy EVs

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SINGAPORE - OCBC Bank and the National University of Singapore (NUS) will jointly conducta new study later this year to look into whatwould make Singaporeans switch from conventional petrol or diesel vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs).

Announced on Thursday (Aug 18), the study will take place overthree months and will examine anonymised datafrom 32,000 OCBC customers, such as spending on fuel.

Associate Professor Alberto Salvo, deputy head of research at NUS' economics department, will head the research team, which comprises environmental and behavioural economists from the NUS Global Asia Institute, as well as an expert on the EV markets in the United States and China from Cornell University.

The study will dig deep into factors such as long-term costs of EV ownership and the effects of carbon emissions from conventional vehicles to the earth's climate.

The findings, to be released in the second quarter of 2023, will help businesses and organisations accelerate consumers' adoption of EVs and other green practices, said OCBC.

The results of the study would also be helpful in raising awareness about the benefits and costs of purchasing an EV, which is more environmentally friendly compared to a conventional petrol vehicle, said Prof Salvo, also the associate director of the Global Asia Institute,

He added: "The EV market is very fluid, information frictions are substantial and there is little carbon literacy. The choice of going electric is super complex.

"The study is about improving the quality and relatability of the information and then seeing which is more influential in making people adopt EVs."

The findings will allow OCBC bank to refine and tailor its green products to make them more attractive to customers. The take-up rate of its electric vehicle loan, or the OCBC Eco-Care car loan, has more than doubled since its launch in March 2021. The bank expects its overall Eco-Care car loan business to grow by more than 250% by the end of the year.

The EV market is currently on an upward trend here, with almost one in 10 new cars sold in the first six months being EVs.

According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), 1,488 EVs were registered in the first half of 2022. This makes up 9 per cent of the 16,567 new cars that were registered and marks a sharp rise from the 3.8 per cent share at the end of last year.

But EVs are still a minority on the road h...

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