Over 50 percent of Canadian car shoppers say they are not likely to consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase.
Market research firm J.D. Power recently published the findings from its inaugural Canada Electric Vehicle Consideration (EVC) Study, which polled 3,701 consumers on their feelings toward EVs. Of these study participants, 53 percent said they were either “very unlikely” or “somewhat unlikely” to consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase. This stands in stark contrast to the United States, where 59 percent of consumers say they are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to consider an EV for their next purchase.
There’s a multitude of reasons why Canadian car shoppers are less likely to consider an EV than Americans. Limited driving distance per charge is cited by 65 percent of Canadians who say they are “somewhat unlikely” or “very unlikely” to consider an EV, compared with 44 percent of consumers in America with a similar consideration level. This is influenced in part by Canada’s large geographic area and cold climate, with 44 percent citing range performance in extreme temperatures as a barrier to EV consideration. Some Canadian provinces also lack EV purchase incentives, including Ontario, although federal purchase incentives are available.
J.D. Ney, director of automotive practice at J.D. Power Canada, said automakers can combat this hesitance toward EVs by ensuring Canadian consumers are educated on these vehicles and have the opportunity to test drive them.
“There are several unique systemic challenges in Canada upon which manufacturers and policymakers need to collaborate to effectively navigate the transition,” Ney said. “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.”
In this study, the likelihood of EV consideration was just 15 percent among Canadian motorists who had no experience with EVs, but that number jumped to 22 percent among those who had been passengers in an EV and to 42 percent among those who had driven one. Roughly 49 percent of those who own an EV will consider another EV for their next vehicle purchase, as well.
A recent EV-focused study fielded by J.D. Power in the United States showed similar findings. This study indicated that just 11 percent of motorists who had no personal experience at all with EVs said they were “very likely” to consider an EV. That percentage more than doubled to 24 percent among consumers who had simply been a passenger in an EV and rose even further to 34 percent among those who had driven an EV.