Largest survey of Canadian electric vehicle (EV) owners finds majority would buy again

According to findings of the largest-ever survey of Canadian electric vehicle (EV) owners by the Canadian Automobile Association, satisfaction rates are extremely high. Drivers did have common pre-purchase concerns, including driving range, cold weather performance and battery degradation but these declined dramatically after purchase. 

The most significant source of worry for EV drivers was the lack of publicly accessible charging stations. This is often a worry for many new EV drivers around the globe but over the last couple of years charging infrastructure has been increasing rapidly with plans for more on the way. Fortunately, there are more apps now available to help drivers find suitable charging. 

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British Columbia Findings

The national survey by the Canadian Automobile Association in partnership with British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) involved over 16,000 EV owners including 5,620 in British Columbia. The survey found almost half (48%) of the EV owners in British Columbia say that access to public charging stations is a worry. Significantly, owners said 37 per cent of their charging time is outside the home. 

A minority of the owners said they lack confidence in taking road trips in their EV. More than one-third of the owners surveyed (36%) don’t have the confidence to drive their EV on a long road trip. Most of the EV drivers (67%) surveyed still own an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle which they are more likely to use for longer journeys. 

Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s Director, Corporate Purpose & Mobility Marketing, said: “With sales of Electric Vehicles growing, this research – into the actual experiences of EV drivers in Canada – sheds important light onto what the real pain points are, and where there is an opportunity for potential buyers to worry less.

“As EVs become an increasingly popular mobility choice for British Columbians, part of BCAA’s purpose will be to be there as a leading voice with information, expertise and services.”

The survey asked EV owners to rate their level of concern before they bought their EV versus their actual experience as EV drivers, in several categories. The survey found that none of the concerns disappeared completely although they did significantly decline. 

In British Columbia, worries about range fell 35 percentage points to 31%, cold-weather performance concerns dropped 18 percentage points to 25% and fears about battery degradation fell 43 percentage points to 15%. 

The survey also found satisfaction rates among EV drivers in Canada, as well as in British Columbia are extremely high. An overwhelming majority of British Columbia. EV owners (96%) say they will purchase another EV when it comes time to replace their existing one. Almost nine in ten (87%) say they enjoy driving their EV more, 96% say their EV is more affordable and 92% say their EV is a quieter ride than their ICE vehicle. 

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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