Who drives an EV in Canada



As of this summer, Canada is home to more than 3,300 highway capable plug-in electric vehicles. Keeping in mind that a stat like that only incorporates numbers from 2011 until now, the growth is quite impressive. If you’ve been reading The Electric Blog regularly, you may remember our post “Canada’s Emerging EV Culture”, where we talked about how within the five top selling plug-in EVs, yearly sales have grown 217% in those three years.

But what kinds of people are actually adopting EVs? As Toronto electricians, we do many EV charger installations and are able to see how the EV culture is shifting.

Environmentally Conscious

People who consider purchasing a hybrid or EV often say that the environmental benefits, along with fuel efficiency and cost savings, are the most powerful motivators to switch to EVs. In fact, over half of consumers surveyed in “Canadian Perceptions of EV Technology” said that they were prepared to pay more for a product considered to be better for the environment. (1)

Second Car Usage

Cara Clairman, president and CEO of Plug ‘n Drive, says that a lot of EV owners that come in contact with are using their EV as a second vehicle. They keep another fuel-powered car for longer trips, but use the EV as their urban/suburban car. (2)

British Columbians are the most likely consumers

45% of British Columbians surveyed said that they are likely to buy, or are ready to consider buying, an all-electric vehicle the next time they purchase a car. Closely following BC is Quebec, where 42% of people say that they are ready for an EV. (3)

Who isn’t driving an EV?

While the growth of EV adoption is certainly impressive, it’s no secret that there are more than 3,300 fuel-powered vehicles in Canada. So, what’s holding the rest of the population back from purchasing an EV?

Concern about range – Because EV technology is still considered to be new by many people, the public is concerned that they will be limited by how long an EV battery charge can last.

Check out our postGo Long! How to Stretch Your EV’s Range” for more information.

Amount of time to charge and location of chargers – Canadians are so used to pulling up to the nearest gas pump and filling their tank within minutes that the idea of locating an EV charging station and also planning their trip to allow for the charging time seems daunting. Companies like Sun Country Highway are working hard to change this inconvenience.

Initial cost – With the purchase cost of EVs still hovering above the purchase cost of an average fuel-powered vehicle, we can see that some Canadian families are hesitating on adopting an EV due to price. That being said, EV manufactures seem to get this and are making changes to bring that initial cost down. At the North American International Auto Show, Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn told reporters that they were dropping the price of the Nissan Leaf by $6,400, closing that cost gap significantly. (4)

Have you ever considered driving an EV? If so, what was appealing about an electric vehicle? If not, what turns you off of making the switch?

Please feel free to leave your comments below or find me on Twitter!

Sources: (1) Pollution Probe, (2) National Post, (3) CAA, (4) Auto Blog

Picture from: Fast Company