Nearly 70 per cent of Canadians say next vehicle purchase will be electric

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TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2021 – Seven in 10 Canadians who plan to buy a new vehicle within the next five years are likely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) although the lack of a robust charging infrastructure, battery life and range and the purchase price remain persistent concerns,

A new survey by KPMG in Canada also indicates that most Canadians will do that within the next 5 years. The key reason is environmental concerns.

Interestingly, over half of Canadians believe that EVs (Electric Vehicles) could overpower the electrical grid or eventually be to expensive to operate given rising electricity prices.

The main reason Canadians have been holding out is a notion that EVs are not reliable come winter and that limitations on battery life are not suitable for our country’s distance challenges.

For those already inclined to buy an EV, they were motivated by environmental concerns, lower operating costs, tax incentives, and the prospect of reduced insurance premiums. For them, tax incentives were much less of an incentive than the environment or lower operating costs. However, when the question of tax incentives was put to all respondents, 70 per cent said they needed tax and/or automotive company incentives to make them change their mind and buy an EV.

Another issue is four wheel drive which is a necessity in most parts of Canada. This may be answered by Tesla’s upcoming release of The CyberTruck. When Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the Cybertruck to the world back in November 2019 in the weeks that followed hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for the Cybertruck poured in. Pre-orders for the Cybertruck a few weeks after the unveiling were trending at a rate of 1 reservation every 2 seconds.

Elon Musk introducing Tesla Cybertruck in November 2019

The Environment: A Big Motivator

For those already inclined to buy an EV, they were motivated by environmental concerns, lower operating costs, tax incentives, and the prospect of reduced insurance premiums. For them, tax incentives were much less of an incentive than the environment or lower operating costs. However, when the question of tax incentives was put to all respondents, 70 per cent said they needed tax and/or automotive company incentives to make them change their mind and buy an EV.

Further, 59 per cent of Canadians planning to buy an EV said they will buy their own charger. This jumps to 66 per cent in Quebec and is only 50 per cent in B.C. Just over a quarter (26 per cent) have not figured out where to charge it overnight but are hoping their condo building will install chargers “soon” and another 12 per cent plan to charge it at the mall, shopping centre, or office.

Key Survey Findings:

  • As many as 70 per cent of Canadians plan to buy a new vehicle within the next decade, of which over three in five (62 per cent) intend to make their purchase in the next one-to-five years.
  • Of the 62 per cent of Canadians planning to buy a new vehicle in the next one-to-five years:

    • 68 per cent are very likely or likely to purchase an EV, pure or hybrid
    • 77 per cent in British Columbia and 75 per cent in Quebec say they are in the market for an EV. By comparison, fewer people in Alberta (54 per cent), the Prairies (48 per cent) or Atlantic Canada (55 per cent) in the market for a new vehicle are likely to buy an EV.
    • Men are more inclined to buy an EV than woman (73 per cent vs. 62 per cent, respectively).
    • Nearly four in five (79 per cent) of those aged 18 to 44 – comprised predominantly of Millennials and Generation Z – say they are very likely or likely to buy an EV within the next five years, compared to 58 per cent of those aged 45 years and older.
    • 42 per cent in the market for an EV within the next five years are prepared to spend between $30,000 and $49,999 and 20 per cent are willing to spend up to $74,999. About a third (31 per cent) in the market for an EV within the next five years want to spend less than $30,000.
  • 83 per cent of Canadians believe the auto makers should be required to invest in a national charging infrastructure.
  • 89 per cent want EV charging stations installed at “every gas station” as well as shopping malls and grocery stores.
  • 61 per cent say the pandemic made them realize that they need a vehicle. They said they would rather drive than take public transport.

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