Survey finds that electric vehicle charging infrastructure and consumer incentives are critical to boosting rural and suburban adoption

June 15, 2021 STATEMENT

New polling data on Canadian attitudes towards electric vehicles (EVs) finds that more needs to be done to encourage rural and suburban Canadians to consider buying an EV.

“Rural and suburban Canadians have significant concerns with a lack of fast-charging infrastructure for longer trips and EV prices compared to gasoline vehicles,” said Brian Kingston, President & CEO of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA). “More supports are needed from government to help Canadians make the switch to electric”.

Motor vehicles are the travel method of choice for rural and suburban Canadians. Longer commutes for rural and suburban Canadians result in greater concerns with EV ranges, charging times and cold weather operations compared to urban Canadians.

According to the poll, rural and suburban Canadians are more likely than city dwellers to cite EV driving range and prices compared to gasoline vehicles as the main reasons not to buy an EV. Only one-third of rural Canadians are considering an EV for their next new vehicle purchase.

These findings are consistent with the federal government’s own polling on Canadian attitudes towards EVs . The government polling found that the price of EVs and a lack of charging infrastructure are the biggest barriers to EV adoption.

“Canada will not achieve its ambitious electric vehicle sales targets without significantly more investments in charging infrastructure, sustained incentives funding and favourable EV tax policies” said David Adams, President & CEO of the Global Automakers of Canada (GAC).

Less than one quarter of rural Canadians surveyed believe that EVs currently in the market fall within their budget for their next vehicle purchase. When compared to urban Canadians, rural residents are less likely to spend more than $5,000 for an EV over a gasoline-powered vehicle. This underscores the need for enhanced EV consumer purchase incentives to make EVs attainable for more Canadians.

The survey, conducted by Leger for the CVMA and GAC, offers insights into the key barriers to consumer adoption of EVs in Canada. The findings are based on an online survey of over 2,000 Canadians completed between March 19-27, 2021.

About the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association
The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association is the industry association that has represented Canada’s leading manufacturers of light and heavy duty motor vehicles for more than 90 years. Its membership includes Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited, General Motors of Canada Company, and Stellantis (FCA Canada Inc.). Collectively its members operate 4 vehicle assembly plants as well as engine and components plants, and have over 1,300 dealerships. 136,000 jobs are directly tied to vehicle assembly in Canada. Direct and indirect jobs associated with vehicle manufacturing are estimated at over 792,000 across Canada.

About Global Automakers of Canada
Global Automakers of Canada (GAC) is the national trade association representing the Canadian interests of 15 of the world’s most respected automakers. Our members include: BMW Group Canada Inc, Honda Canada Inc., Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., Jaguar Land Rover Canada ULC, Kia Canada Inc., Maserati Canada Inc., Mazda Canada Inc., Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc., Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc., Nissan Canada Inc., Porsche Cars Canada Ltd., Subaru Canada, Inc., Toyota Canada Inc., Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. and Volvo Car Canada Ltd. Together our members represent more than 25 brands in the Canadian automotive market.

Toyota and Honda, respectively the two largest vehicle manufacturers in Canada, are responsible for more than 50% of Canadian light-duty vehicle production in Canada and directly employ more than 12,000 associates in five vehicle assembly plants and one engine plant.

GAC members and their associates employ, directly or indirectly, more than 77,000 Canadians in automotive manufacturing, sales, distribution, parts, service and financing, as well as in head office operations.