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71% of Canadians would consider buying electric vehicle: KPMG

A new survey from KPMG LLP Canada reports 71 per cent of Canadians would consider purchasing an e...

IMAGE: KPMG logo. (Courtesy KPMG)A new survey from KPMG LLP Canada reports 71 per cent of Canadians would consider purchasing an electric vehicle as their next vehicle.

It also indicates 49 per cent would consider purchasing an EV made by a major technology company.

However, the major roadblock in this adoption is that 79 per cent of Canadians wouldn’t consider buying such a vehicle unless it could run at least 400 kms on a single charge.

According to the Electric Vehicle Database, the average range of EVs is 315 km, though every model is different.

The Nissan LEAF currently offers a range between 270 to 385 km on a full charge, while Tesla provides between 491 and 614 km. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled its Vision EQXX concept, a compact car that, the company says, can travel more than 1,000 km on a single charge.

Consumers also have concerns about charging. Approximately 85 per cent think queuing anxiety will increase at public charging stations, and 51 per cent say they would not want to wait more than 20 minutes to charge their vehicle. Only 19 per cent would wait an hour.

Three levels of EV chargers

There are three levels of EV charging capabilities.

According to Canada Drives, a Vancouver-based online vehicle retailer, a Tesla Model 3 with a range of 423 km takes 36 to 50 hours to charge at Level 1, 12 hours at Level 2, six hours at Level 3 and 15 minutes for 282 km of range at a Supercharger station. To compare, Nissan’s LEAF, with a range of 240 km for the entry-level trim, takes 30 hours to charge at Level 1, eight hours to charge at Level 2 and 40 minutes to charge to 80 per cent capacity at Level 3.

According to Natural Resources Canada’s EV map, there are currently 6,717 locations in the country with at least one charger available. More specifically, there are 32 Level 1 stations, 5,764 Level 2 stations and 1,235 DC Fast stations.

The survey also found that at the end of the day, consumers (over 90 per cent) need to do a lot more research on EVs before they would make a purchase.

“The mustang has left the barn. There is no turning back from the electrification of the automobile industry. As EV production revs up, the established automakers will need to pay close attention to consumer wants and needs. Our poll findings reveal brand loyalty isn’t as strong as automakers might think,” said Peter Hatges, the partner and national sector leader in automotive at KPMG Canada, in a statement.

Top EV brands among consumers

Generationally, millennials could become the biggest drivers for the sector, with 77 per cent between 25-34 years old and 76 per cent aged 35-44 years saying they’d consider an EV for their next purchase.

The top three brands most likely to be purchased by Canadian consumers are Tesla and Toyota, virtually tied in preference, followed by Honda at a distant third.

The survey also highlights developments needed to allow Canada to hit its EV adoption targets. To support 20 million EVs on Canadian roads by 2035, the country would need as many as four times the number of public charge points as today, depending on Canadians’ future preferences on charging at home versus during their travels.

There would potentially also be a massive increase in electricity consumption should the country reach its goals, assuming existing technology. An electric vehicle would currently use about 4,000 kWh per year with average usage. Thus, 20 million EVs on the roads will represent an estimated 36 per cent increase in per-capita energy consumption from today’s levels.

Survey respondents were divided on whether or not the government should provide incentives. Nearly 53 per cent want the government to do so, while 47 per cent would prefer the government invest in charging infrastructure. Another 84 per cent expect auto manufacturers to invest in national charging infrastructure.

GM recently announced it would install 4,000 charging stations in Canada next year.

KPMG Canada surveyed 2,007 Canadians between Dec. 17, 2021, and Jan. 4, 2022, leveraging the AskingCanadians panel by global research tech company Delvinia through its online research automation platform.

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