Canada Faces Challenges in EV Adoption, Survey Finds

As Canada anticipates the influx of electric vehicles (EVs), a recent Ipsos Canada survey commissioned by BrokerLink has uncovered significant gaps in readiness among Canadians. 

The survey, conducted from August 1-4, 2023, indicates that while 59% of non-EV owners express excitement about driving an electric vehicle in the future, 71% of current gas-powered vehicle owners are hesitant to give up their traditional vehicles.

The study highlights concerns hindering the transition to EVs, with 88% of respondents finding cost a significant barrier, followed closely by challenges related to charging infrastructure (85%). 

Other concerns include the perceived newness of EV technology (81%) and doubts about the long-term cost benefits compared to traditional vehicles (81%) — a noteworthy 78% express concerns about the cost of insurance premiums on EVs.

Source: BrokerLink

Canadians identified factors influencing their decision to switch to EVs, with 89% prioritizing the availability of charging infrastructure, followed by cost savings on fuel and maintenance (87%), and range anxiety (84%).

Source: BrokerLink

However, 59% said that they would consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase, with 64% of the respondents saying that they want to drive an EV for environmental reasons, including to reduce their carbon emissions.

“The survey findings suggest there are significant gaps in people’s understanding, regarding the adoption of EVs in Canada,” noted Grant Clarke, Vice President, National Personal Insurance at BrokerLink. 

This insight is also supported by an earlier survey conducted by JD Power Canada. It found that 66% or almost two-thirds of potential car shoppers are “very unlikely” or “somewhat unlikely” to consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase in the next 24 months — a number that’s 13 percentage points lower than the year before.

Like in BrokerLink’s survey, respondents cited affordability and infrastructure as the main driver of this figure.

“Despite current legislation that is pushing hard for EV adoption, consumers in Canada are still not sold on the idea of automotive electrification. Growing concerns about affordability and infrastructure (both from charging and electrical grid perspectives), have caused a significant decline in the number of consumers who see themselves in the market for an EV anytime soon,” said J.D. Ney, director of the automotive practice at JD Power Canada.

Canada was considered to be at a “tipping point” of EV adoption when it crossed the 5% threshold for new car sales. According to a Bloomberg Green analysis, this threshold signals the start of mass adoption or the period when consumers’ technological preferences rapidly flip.

But now it looks like the affordability crisis has put that adoption trajectory on idle.

Information for this story was found via BrokerLink, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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