Canadians thinking green for next car purchase (Survey)

But infrastructure is a big challenge to widespread adoption of electric vehicles

Thanks to the buzz around the new Tesla, Canadians are thinking green for their next car purchase, according to a new survey by online insurance marketplace

The survey, which polled nearly 3,800 respondents in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, found nearly half of Canadians (48.7%) would consider an electric or hybrid car when they make their next car purchase.

Tesla’s Model 3, an entry-level US$35,000 electric car, was available for pre-order last month with a $1,000 deposit. The company has reportedly received almost 400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3, which won’t be available until 2017.

“Tesla has definitely generated a lot of buzz and knowledge and education with Canadians around this topic,” said Andrew Lo, chief operating officer at “But, also we think Canadians are willing to investigate these types of cars because there are some provincial rebates or incentives for purchasing them.”

Those rebates and incentives accounted for some regional difference in the survey. According to

  • B.C. is the only province with a purchase incentive where potential electric vehcile (EV) drivers outweigh traditional gas-vehicle drivers, at 54.9%. The province currently offers a rebate up to $6,000 for certain electric cars.
  • Ontario and Quebec are tied in terms of potential EV adoption at 45% of respondents. Both provinces offer a cash-back rebate on the purchase or lease of new EVs and have invested in improved charging infrastructure, as the well as the greening of government fleets.
  • Nova Scotia respondents were most likely to consider an electric vehicle at 64.5%. While the province does not currently offer a consumer incentive, the ShareReady pilot program was introduced in 2011 to encourage EV use by provincial organizations.
  • Alberta drivers are least likely to consider an EV or hybrid on their next car purchase at 44.9%.

While nearly half of Canadians said they would consider buying an EV or hybrid car on their next purchase, how many actually will?

“I think Canadians ultimately need confidence that the infrastructure is in place to recharge the vehicle when they need to,” said Lo. “Every car manufacturer that comes out with an announcement with a new EV always boasts the range, the time to charge and the ability to recharge. And so as those technologies get better, that number will quickly become reality.”



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