The Vital Role of Electric Vehicles in Sustainability

24 April 2024

6-min read

The transportation sector, a significant contributor to carbon emissions, especially in Southeast Asia, requires a cleaner alternative. To achieve sustainability targets, a substantial reduction in emissions is essential. Electric vehicles, with their minimal environmental impact, offer a viable solution for the region. Governments across ASEAN are recognising the importance of electric vehicles and are introducing incentives such as tax benefits and subsidies to make them more appealing to consumers. Simultaneously, efforts are being made to enhance charging infrastructure to alleviate concerns about the range of electric vehicles.


A silhouette hand holding the charger inserting to a EV charging connector

As we strive to achieve sustainability goals, the increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is a key aspect of the environmental agenda, fuelled by technological progress, growing environmental awareness, and government initiatives.


As we strive to achieve sustainability goals, the increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is a key aspect of the environmental agenda, fuelled by technological progress, growing environmental awareness, and government initiatives. This transition not only addresses the pressing need to mitigate climate change but also provides an opportunity for financial institutions to play a pivotal role in facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles through innovative financing models.


Financing Solutions for a Seamless Transition

While the advantages of electric vehicles are clear, the upfront cost remains a challenge for many in ASEAN countries. Financing solutions, offered by financial institutions, can play a crucial role in overcoming this obstacle and accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles.


Traditional auto loans have been the norm, but the shift to electric vehicles opens up new possibilities for financial institutions to design specialised financing packages. These packages may include lower interest rates for EV loans, extended repayment periods, and collaborations with automakers to offer exclusive financing deals.



Aligning Financing Strategies with Regional Sustainability Goals

Financial institutions are increasingly recognising the importance of integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria into financing decisions. By considering these factors, banks can support projects that have a positive impact on both the environment and society. Financing electric vehicles aligns well with these principles, promoting a shift towards cleaner transportation and reducing the environmental impact associated with traditional vehicles.


Moreover, financial institutions can explore partnerships with government agencies, NGOs, and private enterprises in the ASEAN region to create comprehensive financing programmes that support the entire ecosystem of e-Mobility. Collaborative efforts can lead to the development of innovative financing solutions, such as green bonds specifically dedicated to electric vehicle infrastructure development or subsidies for financial institutions providing low-interest EV loans.


The Economic Viability of Electric Vehicles in ASEAN

Globally, electric vehicles are not only environmentally beneficial but are also becoming more economically viable. As technology advances, the manufacturing cost of electric vehicles (EVs) is anticipated to decrease, enhancing their competitiveness with traditional vehicles. Moreover, the overall cost of owning an electric vehicle is frequently lower due to reduced maintenance expenses and the diminishing costs of renewable energy sources used to power EVs.


By acknowledging the economic viability of electric vehicles, financial institutions can position themselves as facilitators of this transition in Southeast Asia. As the demand for EVs grows, there is a parallel expansion of opportunities in the financing sector. Through the proactive creation of financing products customised to the distinctive requirements of electric vehicle buyers in the region, banks can engage with a burgeoning market. This not only addresses the immediate financial needs of consumers but also aligns with the overarching objective of advancing towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.


EV Financing with Maybank 

Maybank has unveiled Malaysia's pioneering integrated automobile financing solution tailored specifically for electric vehicle and hybrid customers. This comprehensive offering encompasses holistic financing solutions, insurance and Takaful coverage, and exclusive EV charging privileges. This strategic initiative aligns seamlessly with Maybank's broader vision of emerging as a sustainability leader in the region. The bank is steadfast in its commitment to mobilising a revised target of RM80 billion in sustainable financing to customers by 2025, underscoring its dedication to advancing environmentally-conscious financial practices.


Additionally, Maybank has set a goal of achieving a carbon-neutral position by 2030, reinforcing its position as a trailblazer in promoting sustainable initiatives within the ASEAN region. The approach not only supports the transition towards electric mobility but also exemplifies a forward-thinking commitment to environmental responsibility and the broader goal of creating a sustainable and carbon-neutral future.


In the pursuit of a sustainable future, collaborative efforts involving the financial sector, governmental bodies, and the automotive industry are indispensable for propelling positive change and securing a sustainable tomorrow for the region.

Research Report
ASEAN Mobility: Poised for EV Acceleration
A Brighter Future