EV Adoption Gaining Momentum for Canadian Car Buyers

March 30 2022

Canadian Black Book Ipsos Study Shows Positive Signs for EV

Canadian Black Book’s annual study on car buying trends, conducted by Ipsos, put some specific focus on consumer attitudes towards EVs. The survey, conducted for this year, found that 39% of Canadians are likely to buy an EV in the next five years. This is a significant shift versus findings from last year when only 30% of respondents felt the same way.

 “Although this is a sizable number of Canadians considering an EV option in the near future, we should still recognize that 61% of those surveyed suggested that they are not likely to buy an EV in the next five years,” says James Hancock, Director, OEM Strategy and Analytics at Canadian Black Book. “With that said, the 9% growth in this view compared to last year is noteworthy and may suggest that higher fuel costs, more options and more education are all playing roles in changing attitudes,” he adds.

EV Buying Trends 2022

When asked specifically about fuel prices, inflation, and a carbon tax, the survey showed very telling numbers. Nationally, 49% say they are likely to buy an alternate fuel vehicle. Those with university educations are most likely at 64%, followed by six in ten (59%) of Canadian aged 18-34.

The study suggests that males are substantially more likely to buy an EV in the next five years. 45% of men said they would, compared to 34% of women car buyers in Canada. Young Canadians are most probable, whereby 47% of those aged 18-34 said they would. Middle aged Canadians (35-54) were 43% likely and the oldest group (55+) was least likely at only 29% of respondents saying they would buy an EV in next five years.

“Attitudes are changing towards EVs, and the industry is taking notice and adjusting. The 2021 model year had 24 EV options available to Canadian car buyers. At Canadian Black Book, we estimate those options to grow to 130 models by 2030,” says Hancock. “The growth in options will certainly spur growth in awareness and overall adoption. OEMs are finding ways to ease consumer concerns, through longer battery warranties or even battery as a service (BaaS).”

The Canadian Black Book survey also illustrate that regionality also provides some stark differentiation about likelihood to buy EVs. British Columbia’s car buyers are far more likely to buy EVs, with 53% saying they would in next five years. The next most likely region would be Quebec buyers a 43%, followed by Atlantic Canada (38%) and Ontario (37%). The prairie provinces trend lower, where in Saskatchewan and Manitoba 35% are likely and the least likely buyers are from Alberta where only 21% would consider and EV.

In terms of household income, the wealthiest Canadians are most likely to buy EVs at 51% of those with household income over $100K. Similarly, the most likely segment of Canadians to buy an EV sometime in the next five years are those with University Educations, at 57% of those respondents.

In terms of those who are hesitant to buy an EV, the survey suggests that cost is the largest barrier. Six in ten (61%) Canadian car buyers feel high cost of EVs is the reason they are reluctant to purchase an EV.

Historically, range anxiety was the most common concern, however, this research suggested that just over a quarter (27%) of respondents agree that range is a non-starter. Older Canadians (55+) have the most range anxiety at 38%, well above the national average.  Over one third (35%) of those surveyed are not likely to buy because they do not have a charger at home and 21% simply say they like internal combustion engines better.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 11 and 14, 2022, on behalf of Canadian Black Book. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians (who own or lease a car/truck or who are looking to purchase in the next two years) aged 18+ were interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.