Two thirds of Canadians unlikely to buy an EV: Study

Electric vehicles (EV) adoption is facing an uphill battle from the majority of Canadians, with two-thirds saying they are unlikely to buy an EV for their next vehicle purchase.

According to the J.D. Power Canada Electric Vehicle Consideration Study release today, 66 percent of Canadians said that they were either “very unlikely” or “somewhat unlikely” to consider purchasing an EV for their next vehicle. This figure is a significant drop of 13 percentage points from 2022, reducing overall EV consideration in Canada to 34 percent from the previous 47 percent.

This figure lags considerably behind our neighbours to the south, with 61 percent of consumers stating in the US saying they are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to consider an EV this year.

The study identified three major obstacles to EV consideration: range anxiety, charging infrastructure, and retail price. Limited driving distance per charge was cited as the most common deterrent by 63 percent of respondents who expressed disinterest in EVs. Purchase price (59 percent) and the lack of charging station availability (55 percent) also played significant roles in dissuading potential buyers.

“Despite current legislation that is pushing hard for EV adoption, consumers in Canada are still not sold on the idea of automotive electrification. Growing concerns about affordability and infrastructure (both from charging and electrical grid perspectives), have caused a significant decline in the number of consumers who see themselves in the market for an EV anytime soon,” said J.D. Ney, director of the automotive practice at J.D. Power Canada.

The J.D. Power study also emphasized the lack of familiarity with EVs among Canadians, as 55 percent of surveyed vehicle shoppers had never experienced an EV firsthand. However, among those who had rented, borrowed, or test-driven an EV, 43 percent expressed a likelihood of considering an EV for their next purchase.

In order to address these challenges and achieve national and provincial EV sales targets, J.D. Power emphasized the need for significant investment and close collaboration between manufacturers and lawmakers. Tackling issues related to affordability, capability, and infrastructure will be crucial for the wider adoption of EVs in Canada.

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