Clean Technology Canada

Survey of Canadian EV drivers finds majority would buy again, but many still worry about lack of public charging

March 22, 2023
By Canadian Manufacturing

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OTTAWA — Common pre-purchase concerns about EV ownership – including driving range, cold weather performance and battery degradation – decline dramatically after purchase, according to findings of the Canadian EV owners survey, conducted for the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

The survey of over 16,000 EV owners from coast to coast found their top concern is the availability of public charging. More than four out of every 10 (44 per cent) EV drivers say that this is a worry even after experiencing EV ownership. Significantly, EV owners say they spend 30 per cent of their time charging outside the home.

Further, a significant minority lack confidence in taking road trips in their EV. More than one-third of those surveyed (36 per cent) don’t have the confidence to drive their EV on a long road trip, and most EV drivers (67 per cent) still own a gas vehicle, which they are more likely to use for longer journeys.

“CAA is committed to being a leading voice on mobility for our Members and all Canadians, however they want to travel,” said Ian Jack, Vice-President of public affairs for CAA National. “We know EVs are gaining sales, but a lot of people still have questions. We think this research – into the actual experiences of EV drivers in Canada – sheds an important light into where the real pain points are, and where potential buyers can perhaps worry less.”

The survey asked respondents to rate their level of pre-purchase concern against their actual experience as EV drivers, in several categories. The survey found that while none of the concerns disappeared completely, they did significantly decline. Worries about range fell 37 percentage points to 30 per cent, cold-weather performance concerns dropped 25 percentage points to 33 per cent, and fears about battery degradation fell 41 percentage points to 13 per cent.

The survey also found satisfaction rates among EV drivers in Canada are extremely high. An overwhelming majority (97 per cent) say they will purchase another EV when it comes time to replace their existing one. Almost nine in ten (89 per cent) say they enjoy driving their EV more, 95 per cent say their EV is more affordable, and 92 per cent say their EV is a quieter ride than their gas vehicle.

To conduct the survey, CAA commissioned PlugShare Research, a research and analysis organization. PlugShare surveyed their panel of Canadian EV drivers, as well as Canadian PlugShare app users, from November 21 to December 11, 2022. A total of 16,232 EV drivers responded across all provinces.

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