A majority of Canadians would rather plug in their vehicles in the future than gas them up, and most think that'll happen within a decade if governments offer funding for incentives and infrastructure.
That's according to a new poll commissioned by Clean Energy Canada, which reports that 64 per cent of respondents Canada-wide “want electric vehicles to become the majority of consumer vehicles sold.”
The highest proportion of those responses came from British Columbia and Quebec, at 74 per cent and 71 per cent, respectively, while Alberta scored the lowest, though it was still 51 per cent in favour.
Quebec and British Columbia are the only two provinces with incentives on electric vehicles (EVs). Ontario previously offered them and was the most generous, at up to $14,000, until the new Conservative government ended the program last summer.
B.C. recently announced a long-term plan that will require every new vehicle sold in the province to be zero-emissions by 2040.
In the first ten months of 2018, Canadians bought a total of 1.72 million vehicles. Out of that, 34,357 were plug-in vehicles, which includes full electrics and plug-in hybrids, according to the most recent data available from technology company FleetCarma.
The Clean Energy Canada poll found that when it comes to visiting showrooms, 30 per cent of Canadians were 'inclined' toward EVs but would compare them to gasoline vehicles; versus 10 per cent who were 'certain to buy electric'; and 14 per cent who were 'very likely' to go for an EV.
However, gasoline isn't out of the question yet: 13 per cent were 'certain to buy gas,' while 15 per cent were 'very likely,' and 17 per cent were inclined to buy gasoline but would compare to electric.
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While the majority of respondents felt that EVs were better than gasoline vehicles for air quality and their impact on climate, two out of three people also saw an advantage in fuel costs. Half of those asked thought that the driving enjoyment between EVs and gasoline vehicles was the same.
Knowing there are enough charging stations, quick recharging times and improvements in driving range were the main factors that would persuade drivers to consider buying an electric vehicle. The majority also supported or accepted government-funded programs, with only 11 per cent opposing EV incentives, and 12 per cent against investing in recharging infrastructure.