Americans more likely than Canadians to buy an EV: Study

A new study has found vehicle owners in the US are more likely to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) as their next car when compared to Canadians.

The study was performed by Vancouver B.C. based Research Co. between September 4-6 2020. They surveyed 797 adult non-EV owners in Canada, and 804 adult non-EV owners in the US about their opinions on switching to a zero-emission ride.

The main finding of the study was that 42% of Canadian respondents said they were more likely to purchase an EV as the next vehicle for their household. Americans were more likely than Canadians with 51% of US respondents saying the same.

When looking at how age impacted the decision to buy an EV, the study found younger Canadian vehicles owners are much more likely than older drivers to consider the switch.

In Canada those aged 18-34 were the most likely to buy an EV (61%), compared to those 35-54 (44%) and those 55 and over (37%).

The numbers were markedly different in the US, where those aged 35-54 were the most likely (78%), followed by 18-34 year olds (69%) and finally those 55 and over (37%).

Research Co EV stats

“There is a significant gender gap on both North American countries when it comes to embracing the concept of electric vehicles,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Male non-electric vehicle owners are more likely to foresee an electric car in their future (48% in Canada and 68% in the United States) than their female counterparts (37% in Canada and 30% in the United States).”

According to the results, the are two main factors keeping more people from switching to an EV.

For Canadians, 61% said price was the biggest limiting factor, while 51% in the US agreed with their counterparts north of the border.

Unsurprisingly, range was the other key driver with 55% of Canadians (53% in the US) saying they were fearful of being stranded without a place to charge. The same amount, 55% in Canada (45% in the US), were also worried there were not enough places to charge in the areas they usually drive.

These last two statistics are particularly interesting. The range of EVs is always increasing, with the cheapest Model 3 variant now able to travel 423km (262 miles) on a single charge. Not only is that equivalent to many gas powered cars on the market, how many people drive more than 400km in a day? Not many. In fact, statistics show the average daily commute to be well under 100km (62 miles).

The other around the fear of insufficient charging infrastructure is also interesting, as the vast majority of charging by EV owners is performed at home, leading to a “full tank” every morning.

If public perception around EV range and charging could be changed, it would likely lead to a noticeable increase in EV sales.


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