Revealed – what are EV drivers worried about?

Canadian EV drivers are largely satisfied with their vehicles

Revealed – what are EV drivers worried about?

Motor & Fleet

By Mika Pangilinan

A survey commissioned by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) has revealed that while Canadian electric vehicle (EV) owners are largely satisfied with their vehicles, many are still concerned about the availability of public chargers.

The survey, which polled over 16,000 EV drivers from across Canada, found that many common pre-purchase concerns about EV ownership decline significantly after purchase, including worries about driving range, cold weather performance and battery degradation.

Concerns over driving range fell 37 percentage points to 30%, the survey found, while cold-weather performance concerns slid 25 percentage points to 33%. Additionally, respondents’ fears about battery degradation fell 41 percentage points to 13%.

However, the survey also found that many Canadian EV drivers are still worried about the lack of public charging infrastructure, with respondents naming it as their primary concern.

More than four out of every ten (44%) respondents said they worry about public charging even after experiencing EV ownership, and over a third (36%) said they do not feel confident about taking their EV on a long road trip. In fact, more than half of those surveyed still own a gas vehicle, which they are more likely to use for longer journeys. They also reported spending 30% of their time charging outside of their homes.

Overall, satisfaction rates among EV drivers were extremely high, with 97% saying they would purchase another EV when it is time to replace their existing one.

The survey, which was conducted by PlugShare Research for CAA, also revealed that 89% of EV drivers enjoy driving their EV more, 95% found their EV to be more affordable, and 92% said their EV was quieter than their gas vehicle.

“We know EVs are gaining sales, but a lot of people still have questions,” said Ian Jack, vice president of public affairs for CAA National. “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.”

Amid the growing popularity of EVs, insurers and industry experts have called on manufacturers to improve access to battery data and make battery packs more easily repairable to avoid rising insurance premiums for EVs.

Many EV battery packs cannot be assessed or repaired after minor accidents, forcing insurers to write off even low-mileage cars, a recent Reuters report found.

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