CBB Survey Reveals Canadians Becoming More Amenable to Purchasing EVs

Markham, ON, May 15, 2023 – A recent study developed by Canadian Black Book and conducted by Ipsos has found that Canadians are becoming more likely to consider buying electric vehicles. Specifically, research showed that 44% of Canadian car buyers are likely to consider an EV purchase. This is a 15% increase from 2022. This leaves a little over half (56%) of Canadians who are not likely to consider an EV purchase, however, that number is diminishing over time.  

Males are considerably more likely to consider buying an EV as the survey indicated that half (50%) of men polled would, compared to 38% of females. As EV options become more common and prices more affordable, families with kids are more likely than the national average, with 51% suggesting likeliness to contemplate an EV. 

“There are so many more EV options for car buyers to consider as each year goes buy. This has made the space more competitive. Canadians are becoming more comfortable with the idea of an EV in their driveway, compared to years past, which is a trend that we expect will continue to grow,” says Daniel Ross, Senior Manager, Industry Insights & Residual Value Strategy at Canadian Black Book.  

Age exhibits a clear trend whereby younger Canadians are more likely to consider buying electric options, with the 18-34 age group at 50%, while 45% of 35–54-year-olds would and only 37% of 55+. Similarly, the higher the level of education, the more likely consumers are to buy EVs. Those without high school education are below the national average at 37%, while 45% of those with some post-secondary education would consider EVs, and 61% of university grads would.  

As the market and available options for EVs has grown over the years, the industry has become aware of various barriers to consumer mass adoption. Purchase price is the largest barrier, as 57% of respondents say price is what would stop them from buying an EV. This is a very common sentiment in BC where 70% of car buyers worry about EV prices, which is similar in Atlantic Canada (67%).  

43% of 18–34-year-olds feel price is the largest roadblock, while 60% of those 35-54 feel that way and 63% of the oldest group (55+) feel EVs are too expensive.  

Another reason consumers are resistant to buying an EV is charging access. 46% of car buyers identify this as a barrier. This is highest in Alberta and Ontario where 58% and 56% respectively are not confident in access to charging. The group, however, that is most apprehensive due to charging access concerns are those in household with income $100k+, where 64% say so.  

The next largest concern for consumers is high maintenance costs. 44% of those surveyed believe EV maintenance costs are a problem. Also, 37% are worried about the reliability of charging infrastructure in Canada. Interestingly, only 36% feel range anxiety is a major barrier to buying an EV, which historically has been a leading barrier to the proliferation of electrified vehicles. A further 32% of Canadian simply are not ready to switch from and ICE vehicle to an EV. 

When asked if higher retained values for EVs compared to ICE models would sway their opinion about buying EVs, one third (33%) of respondents said that would make them more likely to buy. This was highest amongst university grads at 47%, and 44% of the youngest car buyers see higher retained values as a key factor.  

“Just a few years ago, retained values for EVs were quite weak as the market was struggling to warm up to EV adoption. Now, Canadians are warming up, and units are moving off the showroom floors, which helps increase retained values,” says Ross.  

About Canadian Black Book  

For over 60 years, Canadian Black Book has been the trusted and unbiased Canadian automotive industry source for vehicle values.  Today the company has grown into a leading data provider of vehicle valuations, residual value forecast solutions and VIN decoding.  Canadian Black Book tools and information are considered ‘The Authority’ for vehicle values not only by car dealers and manufacturers, but also the leasing, finance, insurance and wholesale sectors.  

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