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Canadians want majority of new cars to be electric, expect it in future, survey says

A new poll of driving-age Canadians shows strong support for electric cars, and strong expectations that EVs will become the norm in the future.

The poll, conducted by Clean Energy Canada, shows that 64 percent of Canadians would prefer electric vehicles to be the majority of vehicles sold in the future. Furthermore, 72 percent of Canadians believe EVs will become the majority of cars sold around the world.

Clean Energy Canada breaks down the respondents by province, generation, and political party — of all these segments, only a majority of Conservative voters don’t want the majority of cars sold to be EVs. And even that’s close, as 46 percent of those voters prefer an EV majority.

Asked how long it will take for a majority shift to EVs to occur, 71 percent predict it will happen in 15 years or less, including 56 percent who say it will happen in 10 years or less. However, the majority of respondents also said that if they were buying a new car now, they’d likely prefer to buy an EV — so this electric future may be coming even sooner than they realize.

On air pollution, climate impact, fuel costs, maintenance costs, reliability concerns, and driving enjoyment, respondents prefer EVs on all but the last two factors — and driving enjoyment is nearly even.

Steady Results

These poll numbers match up with a similar recent poll of American drivers. Of all drivers surveyed in that poll, 74 percent believe that electric vehicles are “the future of driving.”

As we’ve also seen in that American poll, charging station availability is the biggest factor for drivers considering EVs. In Canada, 45 percent of respondents said “knowing there are enough charging stations” is “really important,” besting factors such as quick recharging time, increasing battery range, lower maintenance costs, lower ownership costs, and tax incentives, in that order.

Canadians surveyed also showed overwhelming support for offering government rebates and tax incentives to encourage EV purchases, and for government investment in charging infrastructure.

The survey was conducted online with 1,495 Canadian residents aged 18 and over, from March 11-13, 2019.

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