Common pre-purchase concerns about EV ownership – including driving range, cold weather performance and battery degradation – decline dramatically after purchase, according to findings of the largest-ever survey of Canadian EV owners, conducted for the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
The survey of over 16,000 EV owners from coast to coast found their top concern is the availability of public charging. More than four out of every 10 (44%) EV drivers say that this is a worry even after experiencing EV ownership. Significantly, EV owners say they spend 30% of their time charging outside the home.
Further, a significant minority lack confidence in taking road trips in their EV. More than one-third of those surveyed (36%) don’t have the confidence to drive their EV on a long road trip, and most EV drivers (67%) still own a gas vehicle, which they are more likely to use for longer journeys.
“CAA is committed to being a leading voice on mobility for our Members and all Canadians, however they want to travel,” said Ian Jack, vice president of public affairs for CAA National. “We know EVs are gaining sales, but a lot of people still have questions. We think this research – into the actual experiences of EV drivers in Canada – sheds an important light into where the real pain points are, and where potential buyers can perhaps worry less.”
The survey asked respondents to rate their level of pre-purchase concern against their actual experience as EV drivers, in several categories. The survey found that while none of the concerns disappeared completely, they did significantly decline. Worries about range fell 37 percentage points to 30%, cold-weather performance concerns dropped 25 percentage points to 33%, and fears about battery degradation fell 41 percentage points to 13%.
The survey also found satisfaction rates among EV drivers in Canada are extremely high. An overwhelming majority (97%) say they will purchase another EV when it comes time to replace their existing one. Almost nine in ten (89%) say they enjoy driving their EV more, 95% say their EV is more affordable, and 92% say their EV is a quieter ride than their gas vehicle.
To conduct the survey, CAA commissioned PlugShare Research, a research and analysis organization powered by the largest survey panel of EV drivers in the world. PlugShare surveyed their panel of Canadian EV drivers, as well as Canadian PlugShare app users, from November 21 to December 11, 2022. A total of 16,232 EV drivers responded across all provinces.
CAA has been active for many years in bringing trusted information on EVs to Members and the Canadian marketplace. Most recently, we launched the CAA EV Buyer’s Guide, which provides EV-curious Canadians with easy-to-understand information on the critical elements of EV ownership, such as cost and availability of EV models and charging, as well as an interactive tool to help find the best EV for you.
CAA is a federation of eight Clubs providing over 6.8 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, Member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its Members and all Canadians, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure, and consumer protection. CAA was named Canada’s most trusted brand in 2022 by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.
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Senior Director, public affairs