Why Are Most Canadians Hostile To Buying Electric Vehicles?

Why Are Most Canadians Hostile To Buying Electric Vehicles?

When it comes to the prospect of purchasing an electric vehicle, the majority of Canadians are responding with a firm "No thanks/Non merci."

What Happened: According to the inaugural J.D. Power Canada Electric Vehicle Consideration Study that was published today, 53% of Canadian consumers said they were either "very unlikely" or "somewhat unlikely" to consider an EV as their next automotive purchase. In comparison, 59% of American consumers said they are either "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to consider an EV for their next purchase.

Why are Canadians indifferent or worse to driving a car that doesn't require gasoline? According to the Canadians who said they were not considering this type of vehicular purchase, 61% complained about the purchase price for EVs, while a perceived limited driving distance turned off 65% of the respondents. Canada's colder winters also factored into the decision-making with 44% citing range performance in extreme temperatures as a deal-killer.

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What Happens Next: J.D. Power Canada pointed out that while there is a federal level incentive program in Canada to encourage EV purchases, many of the provinces lack their own incentives for potential buyers. Across the provinces, the rate of EV consideration is highest in British Columbia (59%) and lowest among Prairie (38%) and Atlantic Canada residents (35%).

"There are several unique systemic challenges in Canada upon which manufacturers and policymakers need to collaborate to effectively navigate the transition," said J.D. Ney, director of the automotive practice lead at J.D. Power Canada. "The good news is that EV consideration increases dramatically across a number of metrics once consumers are either better informed on the capabilities of the newest EVs or, better yet, have personal experience with them."

Indeed, having experience with EVs played a major role in the study's results — the likelihood of EV consideration was a mere 15% among those who have had no experience with these vehicles, whereas 22% of those who have been passengers in an EV and 42% among those who have driven one said they would make their next automobile an EV. And nearly half (49%) of those who own an EV said they would consider another EV for their next vehicle purchase.

The study measured responses from 3,701 consumers and was fielded in during April and May.

Photo: _T604/Flickr Creative Commons

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