How many Canadians are considering purchasing an electric vehicle?

A significant number of Canadians are considering purchasing an electric vehicle in the next year, a number which would be boosted by the availability of provincial and federal rebates. 

December 3, 2020: The Federal Government’s recent fiscal update committed to spend $150 million over three years to build new electric vehicle charging stations. This announcement comes as both BC and Quebec plan to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars and trucks in the coming years (by 2040 and 2035, respectively). In light of this changing context, we sought to understand how interested Canadians are in buying an electric vehicle. 

Four in ten Canadians (41%) are considering a new or used vehicle purchase in the next year (including cars, SUVs and trucks), and of those, over half are considering an electric vehicle. Likelihood of considering an electric vehicle is highest in BC and Ontario, and lowest in the Atlantic Provinces. 

Demographically, Boomers are the least likely to be considering an electric vehicle (34%), compared with Gen Z (65%), Millennials (59%) or Gen X (60%) Canadians. Interest rises with household income, and is also higher among those employed full time or self-employed. 

When told that federal rebates of $5,000 currently exist, and asked if an additional provincial rebate would encourage them to purchase an electric vehicle, it is clear that rebates would have a significant impact on likelihood to consider this type of vehicle.  Indeed, over half of those who were less-than-fully interested in an electric vehicle indicated that rebates would make them more likely to consider one. This rebate ‘boost’ is strongest in Ontario, the Prairie Provinces and BC (60%, 56% and 53%), compared with Quebec or the Atlantic Provinces (47% and 45%). Importantly, the idea of rebates most pique the interest of those who were ‘probably’ considering an electric vehicle (84% of them said they’d be more interested with a rebate), but a significant minority of those who said initially that they were ‘probably not’ considering an electric vehicle are converted to interest by the availability of rebates (40%). Even one-in-ten of those who initially said they were ‘definitely’ not considering an electric vehicle would consider buying electric if rebates were on offer. 

“Interest in electric vehicles is growing, and for good reason,” says Erin Burbidge, Director of Clean Transportation at Clean Foundation. “They are exciting to drive – quiet, smooth and with impressive power. We are seeing more models and options available at a wider range of prices. Even better, over time the costs to run and maintain an electric vehicle are significantly lower than a gas-powered vehicle. And unlike gas-powered cars that produce greenhouse gases and other pollutants that contribute to climate change, smog, and poor air quality, electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions, making them better for the healthy environments and communities.”   

Results shown are from a survey conducted online November 11 – 13, 2020, with 1,231 Canadians 18 years of age or older from the Logit Group’s Canadian Omnibus. Fielding every month, the Logit Group’s COVID-19 Omnibus surveys Canadians to ask their opinions and behaviours related to topical issues. Clean partnered with Narrative Research on the development of questions.  Results were analyzed by Narrative Research. Data was weighted based on the 2016 Census, by gender, age, and region to reflect these population characteristics in each province. As a non-probability sample (i.e., a panel sample where residents have joined a panel to share their opinions), and in accordance with CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards, a margin of error is not applied. 

Questions included in this release include the following: 

  • How likely are you to purchase each of the following in the next year? A new or used car; a new or used truck; a new or used SUV?
  • {If likely to buy} As you think about the vehicle you may buy in the next year, are you considering an electric vehicle? 
  • As you may or may not know, the federal government currently offers up to $5,000 in rebates for the purchase of many types of electric vehicles. Knowing this, would having an additional provincial rebate available, alongside the federal rebate, make you more likely to consider purchasing an electric vehicle?

For more information, please contact: 

Margaret Chapman, COO, Narrative Research – 902.222.4048, mchapman@narrativeresearch.ca

OR

Alana Milner, Director External Relations, Clean Foundation – 902.420.3474 ext. 114, amilner@clean.ns.ca 

OR

Sam Pisani, Managing Partner, Logit Group – 416.629.4116, sam.pisani@logitgroup.com

Narrative Research (www.narrativeresearch.ca), is a leading public opinion and market research company headquartered in Canada. The company was recently certified as a WBE (Women Business Enterprise). As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services.  Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative

A non-profit environmental charity, Clean Foundation (clean.ns.ca), is a trusted and community-based source of information and action on climate change solutions in Atlantic Canada. 

Follow us on Twitter at @CleanFoundation 

The Logit Group (https://logitgroup.com/) is a leading North American data collection and market research execution company headquartered in Toronto, conducting large-scale projects for a variety of well-known research agencies and brands. Logit employs industry-best technologies across an array of methodologies, and is independent, experienced and quality-oriented.  Follow us on Twitter at @LogitGroup