China's electric vehicle industry started early with two-wheeled electric vehicles and witnessed a strong growth in the past decade. Sales of electric bicycles in China amounted to about 15.05 million in 2018. In comparison, around 667.24 thousand electric power assisted bicycles were sold in Japan in that year, reaching an annual sales value of about 54.45 billion Japanese yen. In South Korea, the market share of electric bicycles was estimated to reach seven billion South Korean won by 2021. Other electric vehicle types are found in India. There, the number of electric three-wheelers and auto rickshaws was projected to be 4.07 million by 2030.
In a survey among Southeast Asian consumers, respondents stated that the most motivating and important factors to buy an electric vehicles include better safety standards and the availability of (fast) charging points. In China, the number of publicly accessible fast chargers for electric vehicles has increased from nine thousand units in 2014 to 111 thousand units in 2018. In South Korea, it was estimated that the number of charging stations will reach about 90 thousand by 2020.
Environmentally friendly technologies such as electric vehicles can reduce air pollution, which is especially relevant in megacities of China and India. In 2016, the annual air pollution level of particulate matter (PM2.5) amounted to 143 micrograms per cubic meter in Delhi and 73 micrograms per cubic meter in Beijing. Inhaling the particles can cause serious health problems which can lead to disabilities and deaths. While there were about 888 thousand deaths in India that were attributable to PM2.5 particle pollution, this figure rose to 1.03 million in 2016.