We’ve been continuing our research into EV adoption in Canada and were pleased to write another article for The Electric Forum, this month! As Canadians, we are a part of a country that is continually understanding our impact on the environment, which makes Canada an interesting place when it comes to driving electric vehicles. With any big game changers, like EVs, there are many factors to consider and many kinks to work out. As electricians in Toronto who install EV charging stations, we’re right in the middle of these exciting changes.
Here’s a look at our post “Canada’s Emerging EV Culture” from The Electric Forum:
In Canada, electric vehicle adoption is growing and as this growth happens, we are really starting to see the effect EVs are having on Canadian culture. Which EVs are top sellers, the impact of EVs on city grids, and commonalities about EV owners are all pieces of information we can use to predict and plan for the future of EVs in Canada.
So far, 65% of the 3,300 highway-capable plug-in EVs sold in Canada have been plug-in hybrids. Currently, the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid is leading the pack, selling 1,971 cars since its release in 2011. In 2012, the Volt accounted for 1,225 of the 1827 EVs sold in Canada, while the Nissan Leaf sold 240, the i-MiEV sold 196, and the Tesla Model S sold 100.
These numbers may not seem incredibly high when you consider the number of people with gas fueled vehicles, but the growth is what we want to look at. Within the five top selling plug-in EVs, yearly car sales have grown 217% from 2011 to 2013 – and that’s only looking at 2013 sales until June! (1)
Over half of consumers, when asked, said that they would pay more in order to use environmentally friendly products. Because of this existing green culture, the higher price tag on EVs or hybrids isn’t necessarily considered to be negative. In fact, people who are considering purchasing a hybrid say that they are doing so for environmental benefits, fuel efficiency, and cost savings equally. (2)
Challenges in Mass EV Adoption
While eco-friendliness, fuel efficiency, and potential savings are all huge draws into the EV market, Canadians still have reservations about using exclusively EVs. Technology is continually improving for batteries, but the time it currently takes to charge and anxiety about limited range are two huge drawbacks.
Even Cara Clairman, president and CEO of Plug’n Drive, an EV advocacy group, says that she borrows her brother-in-law’s minivan for longer trips. “The thing about electric cars is we get a lot of questions about [range]. For a lot of people, it’s a second car. It’s really their urban/suburban car, and the second car does the long trip,” she says.