Canadians Perceptions of Canadians’ Electric Vehicle Technology

March 2009

POLLUTION PROBE is a nonprofit charitable organization that works in partnership with all sectors of society to protect health by promoting clean air and clean water. water Pollution Probe was established in 1969 following a gathering of 240 students and professors at the University of Toronto campus to discuss a series of disquieting pesticide-related stories that had appeared in the media. Early issues tackled by Pollution Probe included urging the Canadian government to ban DDT for almost all uses and campaigning for the clean-up of the Don River in Toronto. We encouraged curbside recycling and supported the development of the Blue Box programme. Over time, Pollution Probe focused its programmes on issues related to air quality, water pollution, energy, transportation, climate change and h human h health, lth iincluding l di a major j project j tt to remove human h sources of f mercury from f the th environment. i t Pollution P ll ti P Probe’s b ’ scope has h since i expanded to include new concerns, such as the unique risks that environmental contaminants pose to children and the development of innovative tools for promoting responsible environmental behaviour. Since 2004, Pollution Probe’s Transportation Programme has supported the development of policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation activity in Canada. Outputs from this programme include Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Vehicle Fuel Effi i Efficiency Standards St d d for f Canada, C d a major j report t supporting ti the th development d l t of f policy li options ti to t reduce d emissions i i through th h improvements i t iin automobile technology and fleet composition. This expertise in personal vehicle fuel efficiency has recently expanded into evaluating the greenhouse gas reduction potential in commercial freight transportation. The Transportation Programme has also focused on the potential for alternative fuels and transportation infrastructure to reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Outcomes from this focus include projects on Low Carbon Fuel Standards, Electric Vehicle Technology and d developing d l i an El Electric ti M Mobility bilit Master M t Plan Pl for f the th City Cit of f Toronto. T t Our O engagement t in i electric l t i vehicle hi l technology t h l and d infrastructure i f t t contributed to Pollution Probe’s position as a member of the Steering Committee for Canada’s industry-led Electric Vehicle Technology Roadmap (evTRM). By developing potential pathways to integrate electric vehicle technology into the market, Pollution Probe identified the need to develop a better understanding of the challenges towards the adoption of electric vehicle technologies in Canada and consequently recently completed a national consumer awareness research project. Pollution Probe offers ff innovative and practical solutions to environmental issues pertaining to air and water pollution. In defining f environmental problems and advocating practical solutions, we draw upon sound science and technology, mobilize scientists and other experts, and build partnerships with industry, governments and communities. For information on Pollution Probe’s programme areas and publications, please visit www.pollutionprobe.org.

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology

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Acknowledgements gratefully y acknowledges g the funding g support pp p provided by y the Office of Hydrogen, y g Fuel Cells and Transportation p Energy gy of Pollution Probe g Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) as well as the in-kind support by Electric Mobility Canada. We also thank the following individuals for providing input to the research process: Nick Beck, Kerry Butt, Al Cormier, Mike Elwood, Derek Leebosh, Ian MacIntyre, Keith Neuman and Cheri-Anne Olsen.

For more information, please contact: Rebecca Spring Project Manager Pollution Probe 416-926-1907 x238 rspring@pollutionprobe.org Bob Oliver Executive Director Pollution Probe 416-926-1907 x231 boliver@pollutionprobe.org

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology

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Table of contents Executive summary Research overview Awareness and knowledge of electric vehicle technology Overall awareness of and familiarity with electricpowered vehicles Familiarity with hybrids Plug-in ug hybrid yb d e electric ect c vehicles e c es ( (PHEVs) s) Interest in PHEVs Considerations and barriers to purchasing a PHEV Price considerations and incentives Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) Perceptions of BEVs Environmental advantage of BEVs Barriers to purchasing a BEV Driver/vehicle profile 6 10 12 13 17 25 5 26 26 32 34 35 36 37 39 Appendix A: Study methodology Appendix B: Survey questionnaire Appendix C: Discussion guide 47 51 57 Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 4 Environics .

The research indicates that incentives to defray the initial price premium would be beneficial in overcoming barriers associated with higher purchase price. Although access to electrical outlets is still a concern for PHEVs. technology Those interested in PHEVs are prepared to pay a premium for these vehicles. indeed. such as its reduced environmental impact and lower operating costs. but at the same time believe that this technology is still in its early stages and has not yet entered the mainstream. no exhaust system. g on the environment and the electricity grid) grid). Consumers simply do not feel ready for a vehicle that must be plugged in for a significant period of time every day. which are perhaps a function of unfamiliarity with the technology.. long charging times and limited access to electrical outlets (especially away from home). no transmission. but the amount is relatively small – few would be prepared to pay more than a 15-percent premium for such a vehicle. There is significant consumer resistance to battery battery-electric electric vehicles (BEVs) at this point. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 5 Environics . drivers tend to want a vehicle that has some degree of versatility (in terms of passenger and cargo-carrying capability) and that allows them the flexibility to travel without advance planning. both in terms of how it works and what types of EVT vehicles are currently available. The public generally does not understand the extent of the potential cost savings associated with operating a BEV and are unclear as to the impacts of a large-scale large scale move to this technology (e (e. The findings of this study suggest that lack of awareness of EVT (both in terms of how it works and its benefits) underlies much of the resistance to the technology. and are fearful that such a vehicle might leave them stranded.Executive summary Canadians generally have very little knowledge or understanding of electric vehicle technology (EVT). and that a long-term battery warranty or battery exchange program might help alleviate concerns about battery cost and lifespan. at the same time. Public education must move beyond a focus on environmental qualities and lower fuelling costs. BEVs are seen as extremely limited in this regard. reliability and maintenance/operating costs are more important barriers barriers. In addition to these concerns. Six in ten Canadians say they are at least somewhat interested in purchasing a PHEV and just under one in five are very interested.g. many drivers see PHEVs as “the best of both worlds” (requiring even less gasoline than a current hybrid but not having the range limitations and charging concerns associated with BEVs). no oil changes.) These benefits should be reinforced. especially in terms of mechanical simplicity and lower maintenance and operating costs.g. costs Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) would seem to be a reasonable solution to the perceived limitations of BEVs and. etc. to more effectively communicate the other benefits of using EVT that are virtually unknown (e.. Canadians seem to appreciate some of the potential benefits of EVT. tend to under-appreciate the benefits of BEVs. The key barriers to these vehicles are limited range. Consumers tend to focus disproportionately on these perceived barriers and.

more than eight in ten are aware. with awareness somewhat higher in Ontario and western Canada than in the east. Among those who do not currently own a hybrid. and range and battery/charging concerns (on the negative side) emerging as key top-of-mind top of mind perceptions. Those who have considered purchasing a hybrid cite environmental benefits. three in ten have some experience with them. Those who have actually purchased a hybrid generally cite these same factors.Key findings A Awareness and d knowledge k l d of f electric l t i vehicle hi l technology t h l Almost nine in ten Canadians have seen or heard something about vehicles powered fully or in part by electricity. but the environmental benefit is mentioned twice as often as fuel efficiency or cost savings by this group. with environmental benefits (on the positive side). Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 6 Environics . . by knowing someone who has owned or driven one. Canadians are g generally y unable to name vehicles currently y on the road that make use of electric p power. Younger Canadians. Awareness of hybrid vehicles is generally high. perceptions Relatively few Canadians profess familiarity with electric vehicles. The initial cost of purchase is by far the biggest obstacle cited by drivers who have considered (but have not purchased) a hybrid. There is marked confusion as to the types of hybrid vehicles available today: just over half of those aware of hybrids believe “gasolinepowered vehicles with an electric motor to provide more power when needed” are currently available. Canadians have both positive and negative impressions of electric vehicles. They are somewhat more likely to indicate awareness of how they compare with conventional vehicles than familiarity with the technology or plans for introduction. With the exception p of the Prius. Four in ten among those aware of hybrids believe battery-electric vehicles are currently available. with men and younger drivers most likely to indicate awareness. men and those living in urban areas are most likely to indicate familiarity with electric vehicles. more commonly. either first-hand (through having driven one) or. with an equal proportion believing plug-in hybrid vehicles are currently available. fuel efficiency and cost savings (all in about equal number) as the reasons they have considered such a vehicle.

) Fuel efficiency and. d t Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 7 Environics . A small majority of those with some interest in purchasing a PHEV would pay up to a 10-percent premium. Driving a vehicle with more advanced technology is seen as a less important reason. Reliability R li bilit and d maintenance/operating i t / ti costs t are seen as key k b barriers i t to considering id i purchasing h i a PHEV PHEV. factor. and by those who see these as important in making a vehicle choice. about half of Canadians cannot name any limitation associated with these vehicles. but is highest among those most cognizant of fuel efficiency and pollution issues. On the other hand. nine in ten Canadians rate reduced environmental impact. with just under four in ten indicating that this would definitely make them more likely to consider such as vehicle. especially in the eastern part of the country. about one in ten cite range and purchase price as limitations. choice Consistent with the perceived advantages of electric-powered vehicles. Interest in PHEVs is uniform across many driving behaviour segments and by type of vehicle currently driven. support is strongest for a 10-year/160. Purchase price and limited access to plug-in locations are also important concerns. once they become available. cost savings and fewer emissions are seen as key advantages of hybrids by those aware of these vehicles. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) Six in ten Canadians are at least somewhat interested in purchasing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). four in ten among those who do not have easy access to an outlet right now indicate it would be one Lack of access to an electrical outlet at work is a far greater factor country difficult to install one. Although lack of access to electrical outlets for vehicle charging at home is not a major barrier on an overall basis. A $2.Key findings Awareness and knowledge of electric vehicle technology (cont. while “making a personal statement” is relatively unimportant (though still seen as important by some four in ten). it is more of a concern for those living in the urban core.500 t rebate tax b t and df free b battery tt charging h i stations t ti iin th the community it are also l strong t iinducements. EVT awareness is similar across most driver segments. and increases with education.000 km battery warranty. When those not interested in purchasing a PHEV are asked to rate a number of potential incentives. to a somewhat lesser extent. while one in five would pay more than a 10-percent premium. including current vehicle type. In addition. reduced dependence on gasoline and savings on operating costs as important reasons to consider a PHEV. Interest is highest in urban areas. and familiarity with current hybrids and with EVT in general. with ith six i in i t ten or more each h considering these very important reasons not to purchase a PHEV. Interest is similar in driving a hybrid as a rental car.

especially when factoring in the initial purchase price and the cost of battery replacement. not much is known. Most are unable to name examples of such vehicles and are unfamiliar with the technology to the extent that they do not understand many of the key differences between electric motors and internal combustion engines. hi l However. Many feel that a BEV takes away the sense of spontaneity currently associated with vehicle ownership – the ability to just jump in the car and go wherever you want.. hydro). Limited range (especially when power-consuming options are used). BEVs are generally BEV ll considered id d to t be b quieter i t and d cleaner l than th conventional ti l vehicles. and a more limited range than conventional vehicles or current hybrids. Beyond y the fact that the battery y would be large g and expensive. There is also little understanding g of the battery y that would be needed in such a vehicle. coal-fired vs. long recharge times and concerns about the availability of plug-in locations top the list of perceived barriers to purchasing BEVs.Key findings Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) Battery-electric There is little awareness or understanding of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). There is a perception that a BEV is not sufficiently versatile to be really useful (despite a lowered cost of operation) and that owning a BEV would force the owner to make too many lifestyle changes (most notably having to plan vehicle usage in advance to a much greater degree). and concerns about the environmental impacts of battery production and disposal.g. While most assume that BEVs will be cheaper to operate. H perceptions ti of f the th environmental i t l advantage d t of the BEV are dependent on the source of the electricity used to power the vehicle (e. The most common perception of the BEV is of a small vehicle with less power. there is little real understanding of the potential cost savings. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 8 Environics .

This research program was designed to assess Canadians’ attitudes towards electric vehicle technology. to provide input into communications plans and strategies to promote greater awareness and acceptance of the technology. and to establish baseline attitudinal indicators that can be tracked over time. in order to provide input into the development of the technology roadmap and its implementation plan. The Roadmap’s purpose is to help industry. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 9 Environics . ti Th The research h will ill contribute t ib t a deeper d understanding d t di of f the th current t level l l of f public bli awareness and d Canadians’ C di ’ perceptions ti of f electric l ti vehicle technologies to the Technology Roadmap. R&D marketing and economic competitiveness. Identify key group differences. tangible environmental change through its research. its supply-chain. Determine the barriers to broader acceptance and market diffusion of EVT.Research overview Background Pollution Probe. and government come together to jointly identify and prioritize the technologies needed to support strategic R&D. academic and research groups. Determine the motivators to adoption of EVT. a leading Canadian environmental not-for-profit group dedicated to achieving positive. knowledge k l d and d comfort f t with ith electric l t i vehicle hi l technology t h l (EVT) (EVT). education and advocacy programs. is a Steering Committee member of the Electric Vehicle Technology Roadmap. competitiveness Pollution Probe commissioned research and analysis to further stakeholder understanding of challenges towards the adoption of electric vehicle technologies (EVTs) in Canada. Objectives M Measure the th Canadian C di public’s bli ’ levels l l of f awareness.

the potential interest in (or uptake of) the technology. and the roles and responsibilities of industry and government. to generally gauge perceptions and awareness. to identify segments.Methodology gy An initial quantitative online survey was conducted with 2. to more deeply examine the perceived trade-offs associated with electric vehicles. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 10 Environics . Report synopsis The report begins with a discussion of awareness and knowledge of electric vehicle technology. qualitative focus groups were conducted with segments in regions that were identified as being of interest in the initial national survey. the key drivers of support and opposition to the technology. the interest in (or requirement for) the use of incentives to promote the technology.001 Canadians. and to examine regional variations. including perceived advantages and barriers. followed by awareness of and interest in plug plug-in in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Appended are descriptions of the quantitative and qualitative methods employed in conducting this research. the survey questionnaire and the discussion guide. A more complete description of the study methodology is appended to this report. Following this. Following this is a section profiling drivers.

Awareness and knowledge g of electric vehicle technology Overall awareness of and familiarity with electric-powered vehicles Familiarity with hybrids Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology Environics .

variations. This high level of awareness spans demographic subgroups. 87 Yes Q17 Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 12 Environics . and slightly lower in the east (83%) and Quebec (81%). have at least some business use for their vehicle or who drive more than 10 km per day. Awareness is strongest in Ontario (90%) and the west (88%). Those most likely to have heard or seen something about electric vehicles live in multiplemultiple vehicle households. Awareness is not strongly linked to the type of car normally driven. Being aware of electric-powered vehicles is also somewhat higher among those with more education and higher household incomes. age and there is only a slight gender difference (88% of men. vs. Have heard or seen something about EVT 13 No A large majority of adult Canadians (87%) have heard or seen something about vehicles that are powered fully or in part by electricity.Awareness of electric-powered vehicles The vast majority of Canadians have heard or seen something about vehicles powered by electricity. with minor variations There is no difference by community size or age. 85% of women). There are also minor differences by driving patterns.

726) Table may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions % Negative mentions (net) Driving distance concerns Battery life/charging concerns Expensive Cost of hydro/electricity y y Reliability/performance concerns Vehicle power Other negative mentions (e. expense) 29 7 6 3 3 2 2 6 % Neutral mentions (net) Automaker (Chevrolet. Ford etc. safety. both good (environmentally-friendly) and bad (limited driving distance and charging problems.Top-of-mind thoughts about electric vehicles The public has a variety of impressions about electric vehicles.) Hybrid Small size Cost/price mentions Smart cars Other neutral mentions 26 10 7 3 2 2 2 39 15 6 4 4 3 3 4 Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 13 Environics . % Positive mentions (net) Green/environmentally-friendly Economy/cost savings Fuel efficiency/reduced fuel consumption Less emissions and pollution/cleaner air Good idea Desirable/exciting/interesting Other positive mentions Q18 Subgroups: Canadians who saw or heard something about electric vehicles (n=1. Those under age 30 are most likely to have opinions on this topic.g.

highest proportion of younger Canadians (17% 18-24) and lowest proportion of 55+ (24% ). they are most likely to profess some knowledge of how EVs compare with conventional gas-powered vehicles. Index 1 (highest familiarity): highest proportion of city/suburban dwellers (72%). 28% live in Ontario (16% Quebec). th and d half h lf or fewer f each h say they th are at least somewhat familiar. higher speed daily commuting routine. ) French-speakers Somewhat familiar Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 14 Environics .” Those considered most familiar with EVT (Index 1) said they are very or somewhat familiar with all three aspects. bachelor degree and higher education (29%). predominantly male (71%). predominantly female (36% male). 41% are in 1-vehicle households. and those providing other combinations of responses were assigned intermediate familiarity (Index 2). 25% bachelor degree or higher. 31% 55+). Canadians are most likely to say they are at least somewhat familiar with how electric vehicles compare to conventional gas-powered vehicles than they are with the technology or how they work. moderate income.Familiarity with aspects of electric vehicles Few Canadians are very familiar with any aspect of electric-powered vehicles. equal gender distribution (49% male). highest proportion of Quebec residents (28%) and p ( (77% English. average age (13% 18-24.000 +). those least familiar (Index 3) said they are not very or not at all familiar with all three aspects. Index 2 (intermediate familiarity): 64% city/suburbs. 42% are in 1-vehicle households. Comparison with conventional vehicles Technology 7 6 29 Very familiar 33 40 Plans for introduction 5 Canadians who are aware of electric-powered vehicles were asked to rate their level of familiarity with three aspects. Self-professed familiarity with all three aspects is highest among men. 83% English. or plans for introducing them them. and is also linked to post-secondary Subgroup: Canadian drivers aware of electric vehicles (n=1. citydwellers and those aged 18 to 29. Responses to the three parts of this question were used to create an index for “Familiarity with EVT. 38% 55+).000+ income households (9%). 23% French). Index 3 (lowest familiarity): 64% city/suburbs. highest household incomes (19% $100. g . oldest group (8% 18-24.726) Q19 education and having a long-range. While strong familiarity is similar across the three. Fewer than 10 percent each say th are very f they familiar ili with ith any of f the th three. lower education levels (20% bachelor degree or higher). lowest proportion of $100. multi-vehicle (3+) households (21%). mainly English-speaking (93%).

A number of respondents could name a maker ( (e. . the ability to name any vehicle make or model is highest among men. followed distantly by the Smart Car and Volt (cited by 5% each).726) Table may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions % 51 16 9 7 5 5 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 12 4 49 Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 15 Environics . Civic. Lexus. There appears to be some confusion about whether certain vehicles are electric-powered or not. Naming an electric vehicle is highest among younger Canadians (aged 18 to 29) and decreases with age. Yaris. Roadster and Tahoe. discontinued or pending. g Toyota. few can name any one specific make and half are unable to even hazard a guess. Canadians aware of electric-powered vehicles were asked if they could name any specific vehicle makes or models on the road today that are powered fully or in part by electricity. y . Camry and Escape (3% each). as expected. and. In general. at one percent each.g. those with some personal experience with hybrids and those who are very familiar with EVT. and Malibu and ZENN (2% each). Prius mentioned by 16 percent. There is a link between being able to name an electric vehicle and driving habits: it is highest among those with multiple-vehicle households. include Insight. those with longer/higher speed commutes. Ford. Other mentions. electricity Despite the high proportion claiming to have heard or seen something about these electric vehicles. Tesla. Highlander. or whether they are currently on the road. The most frequently named electric-powered electric powered model is the Prius. . GM) ) but not an individual model. Accord. Honda. Any mention (net) Prius Toyota (unspecified) Honda (unspecified) Smart Car Volt Civic Camry Escape Ford (unspecified) Malibu GM (unspecified) ZENN Other individual vehicles (1% or less each) Other mentions Don’t know Q20 Subgroups: Canadians who saw or heard something about electric vehicles (n=1.Vehicle makes with full or partial electric power Canadians have a limited ability to name specific makes of vehicles with electric power capability. and increases proportionately along with level of education and household income.

Over eight in ten (84%) say they have heard of hybrids. familiarity increases along with level of education and household income (a factor linked to education).. Awareness is highest among multiple-vehicle households and those who drive more: daily commuters and those who drive 11 km or more per day. there is a gender gap: men (90%) are considerably more likely than women (79%) to say they are familiar with hybrids. Total Q21 <30 30 to 59 60+ Subgroup: Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle that is not a hybrid (n=1. % familiar with “hybrid” vehicles 84 92 86 75 Those whose current vehicle is not a hybrid (i.Familiarity with hybrid vehicles The majority of Canadian drivers are aware of hybrid vehicles.e. familiarity is almost universal among men and younger drivers. Awareness is also highest among younger Canadians (92% of those 18 to 29 years old) and decreases with age. As with many vehicle knowledge questions. Awareness is somewhat lower in Quebec (74%) than elsewhere in the country. as is a typical pattern with many knowledge questions. There is also a link between self-professed awareness of hybrids and driving patterns.662) Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 16 Environics . And. 97% of Canadians who own or have regular access to a vehicle) were asked if they are familiar with what are called hybrid vehicles (these were briefly described).

Experience with hybrid vehicles
Just J t over one-quarter t of f Canadian C di drivers di who h are familiar f ili with ith h hybrids b id report t having h i either ith firstfi t or second-hand experience with them.
Experience with hybrid vehicles in terms of Owning or driving one Someone else I know has used one No for self or others I know (n=1,398) % 5 26 73 Canadian drivers who are aware of hybrids (but do not own one) were asked if they have any experience with owning or driving one, one or if they know someone else who has. Very few (5%) report first-hand experience with hybrids. When those who own a hybrid vehicle are included, this translates to six percent of hybrid-aware drivers with first-hand hybrid experience. As well, one-quarter (26%) know someone else who has used a hybrid. In total, seven in ten (73%) drivers y but do not own one have no first- or second-hand who are aware of hybrids experience with hybrids. First-hand experience with hybrids is low across all subgroups, but is marginally higher among city dwellers and suburbanites, men, those under age 30 or in multi-vehicle (3+) households, and long-range/high speed commuters. Knowing someone else with hybrid experience is higher in Ontario and the west, and among urbanites and young drivers (under 30). Knowing someone with hybrid experience increases with an increase in education and household income levels. Those who do not have first-hand experience with hybrids were asked if they have ever considered purchasing one. Canadians in this position are evenly divided between those who say they have considered it and those who have not not. Having considered buying a hybrid is highest in Ontario (55%) and is linked to community size, being highest among city dwellers (57%). It is highest among drivers under age 30 (62%) and decreases with age. As with experience with hybrids, having considered one increases with level of education and income, and g among g those with a p post-secondary y degree g ( (63%) ) and with household is highest incomes of $70,000 or more (57%). There is no notable difference by gender or driving patterns. 17

Subgroup : Canadian drivers familiar with hybrid vehicles who did not indicate they owned one Table may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions Q22

% considering g purchasing/leasing p g g a hybrid y
50 57 51 46

38

Total

City centre

Suburb

Town/ village

Rural

Subgroup : Canadian drivers familiar with hybrid vehicles who have not owned or driven one (n=1,328)

Q23

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Reasons for considering buying a hybrid
Those who have considered buying a hybrid vehicle are about equally likely to say it is because of the environmental and the fuel efficiency aspects, and are also thinking about cost savings.
Why considered buying a hybrid Green/environmentally-friendly Fuel efficiency/reduced fuel consumption Economy/cost savings Less emissions/pollution/clean air Cost/prices/expensive Auto maker mentions Efficiency (general) Desirable/exciting/interesting Misc. negative/barriers Other mentions (less than 1% each) Don’t know
Subgroup: Canadian drivers who have considered purchasing a hybrid Table may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions

(n=657) % 30 26 24 7 6 2 1 1 2 3 1
Q24

Canadian drivers who say they have considered purchasing a hybrid were asked, without prompting, what made them consider it. The most mentioned reasons are the green factor/environmental-friendliness (30%), followed closely by fuel efficiency (26%) and cost savings (24%). Fewer than one in ten each cite other individual factors, such as lower emissions, preferred auto makers, efficiency and general desirability. A small number (2%) also mention reasons they did not pursue the purchase purchase, such as high purchase cost, battery life, driving distance and safety concerns. Reasons for considering a hybrid are consistent across subgroups. Quebec drivers are somewhat more likely to specify cost savings and clean air as reasons for thinking about getting a hybrid. Women are more lik l than likely th men to t mention ti the th green/environmental / i t lb benefits, fit while hil men are more likely to refer to the cost savings. Cost savings is mentioned by higher proportions of those with a greater level of self-professed familiarity with EVT than by those less familiar with this technology.

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Barriers to purchasing hybrids
High purchase price is the major obstacle to Canadians considering a hybrid as their next vehicle.
Canadian drivers who say they have not considered purchasing a hybrid were asked, without prompting, why this is the case. The leading top-of-mind barrier is the cost of the vehicle, mentioned by close to half. Far fewer mention any other reason. One in ten are simply p y not considering g a vehicle p purchase at this time, and a similar proportion (8%) indicate they do not have enough information about hybrids to consider one. A number mention other perceived drawbacks to hybrids, such as their small size, low power, and concerns about reliability, driving distance, battery life/charging and safety. A small number also mention some perceived advantages, such h as b being i economical, i l f fuel-efficient, l ffi i t and d id ideall f for city it d driving. i i The expense of purchasing a hybrid is the leading barrier across all subgroups. City dwellers and women are the most likely to say they are not considering purchasing any new vehicle. Women and those with lower levels of education are the most apt to mention a lack of information about hybrids. There are no differences between those with more self-assessed familiarity with EVT and those less familiar with this technology. Why have not considered buying a hybrid Expensive/cost/prices Not currently interested in buying a new vehicle Not enough information Not for me Not available Experimental/needs more work Small vehicle size Vehicle power Did not occur to me R li bilit / f Reliability/performance concerns Driving distance concerns Battery life/charging concerns Safety concerns Misc. positive mentions/advantages Misc. negative mentions/barriers Don’t know/not stated (n=671) ( ) % 46 10 8 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 6

S b Subgroup: Canadian C di drivers di who h h have not t considered id d purchasing h i ah hybrid b id Q24

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without prompting. The reasons cited for having g bought g a hybrid y closely y match the reasons why Canadians would consider purchasing one. what was the main reason they purchased this type of vehicle (the base of respondents is small. so caution is required in interpreting the results and subgroup analysis is not advisable).Reasons for having bought a hybrid Current hybrid owners are most likely to cite the green/environmental aspect as the main reason they purchased their hybrid. followed by fuel efficiency and cost savings. Why purchased a hybrid Green/environmentally-friendly Cost savings/economy Fuel efficiency/reduced fuel consumption Cost/prices (general) Less emissions/pollution/clear air Desirable/exciting/interesting Other Don’t know/not stated Subgroup: Canadian hybrid vehicle owners (n=46) % 29 16 15 5 4 1 21 8 Q24 The small sample (n=46) of Canadian drivers who indicated that they currently own a hybrid were asked. but fuel efficiency and cost savings are also key. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 20 Environics . with current owners being most likely to mention environmental-friendliness.

Agreeing that standard hybrids are available is highest among those with post-secondary education. % saying each type of hybrid is available today Hybrid 54 Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) 54 Canadians who are aware of hybrids were shown descriptions of three types of hybrids and asked to indicate which of these are currently available to purchase today. About half (54%) each think that two types are available: the standard type of hybrid (gasoline-powered vehicle with an auxiliary ili electric l t i motor) t ) and d the th plug-in l i h hybrid b id ( (or PHEV.or secondhand) with hybrids. Agreement that all three are available now is highest among those are those who claim to have the most familiarity with EVT. men are more likely than women to say they are available today. The results indicate that some confusion exists on this point. household incomes over $40. PHEV that th t runs on a battery-powered motor rechargeable by plugging into a standard outlet. Battery y electric vehicle ( (BEV) ) 41 Subgroup: Canadian drivers aware of hybrids (n=1.737) Q25 Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 21 Environics . y driving g behaviour or socio-economic There are no notable differences by status in perceptions about the type of EVs that are currently available. and decreases as familiarity with EVT lessens. Four in ten (41%) think that battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) are available for purchase now. those with long-range higher-speed daily commutes.000. and those who profess some experience (first. and those who drive 11 or more kilometres per day. Belief that BEVs are available today is also higher among those with the lowest household incomes. For all three types. which are not yet commercially available).Types of hybrids available to buy today Canadians are confused about what types of hybrid vehicles are available for purchase today. and many think that the other technologies are available now. Only about half identify the current technology as being available.

about the resulting cost savings (17%). Advantages of hybrids over gas-powered vehicles Fuel efficiency/reduced fuel consumption Cost savings/economy Less emissions/pollution/clean air Green/environmentally-friendly Quiet Efficient (general) Option to use both sources of energy Other mentions Cannot say y Subgroup: Canadian drivers aware of hybrids Table may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions (n=1. Few note any other advantages. as are those under age 45 45. Mentions of fuel efficiency increase along with level of education and are also higher among those who have a daily commute than th those who h d do not. t as well ll as among th those with ith some personall experience with hybrids and those who are most familiar with EVT. most often about how fuel-efficient they are (25%). Men are more likely to mention fuel efficiency than are women women.Advantages of hybrids Canadians are most likely to see fuel efficiency. where they are somewhat less noted (19%). t d iin what ways current hybrid vehicles offer an advantage over conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. Two-thirds offer an opinion. who are also more likely than older Canadians to mention their being environmentallyfriendly. One in ten also mention they are environmentally environmentallyfriendly (11%).737) % 25 17 15 11 1 1 1 2 34 Q26 Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 22 Environics . cost savings and reduced emissions as the advantages hybrids offer over conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. Mentions of fuel efficiency/reduced fuel consumption are consistent across the country except in Quebec. Canadians C di who h are aware of f hybrids h b id were asked. and how they emit fewer pollutants (15%) (15%). k d unprompted.

Limitations of hybrids over gas-powered vehicles Driving distance concerns Expensive/cost/price Vehicle power Battery life/charging concerns Slow driving speeds Small vehicle size Repair/maintenance/knowledge required Reliability/performance concerns Lack of vehicle selection Cold temperature performance Other comments Cannot say Subgroup: Canadian drivers aware of hybrids Table may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions (n=1. power. these concerns suggest that many who have heard of hybrids may be confusing this technology with that of BEVs. Other than cost. low power. Men are more likely than women to mention a limitation. Younger Canadians are the most concerned about vehicle power. being expensive. slow speeds and small size. t d in what ways current hybrid vehicles are more limited than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. expense and power limitations. Canadians C di who h are aware of f hybrids h b id were also l asked. distance battery charging and reliability concerns. except that those with the greatest self-professed familiarity with EVT are the most likely to mention hybrids being expensive.Limitations of hybrids Canadians have no strong impressions of the limitations of hybrid vehicles. The perceived limitations expressed are similar to the barriers to purchase mentioned earlier: driving distance. limitation and are more likely to mention concerns about driving distance. but these are widely varied with no strong impressions emerging. but are most apt to express concerns about limited driving distance. k d unprompted. About half offer some comment. charging issues and high purchase cost.737) % 13 11 9 9 6 2 1 1 1 1 2 48 Q27 Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 23 Environics . older ones are the most likely to mention driving distance and battery charging concerns. There are no notable differences by y driving g habits or personal p experience p with hybrids.

Plug-in g hybrid y electric vehicles (PHEVs) Interest in PHEVs Considerations in p purchasing g a PHEV Barriers to purchasing a PHEV Price considerations Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology Environics .

those with previous experience with hybrids. eight percent have no plan to purchase any vehicle in the future. Those with high school or less education have the lowest level of interest overall. 17 percent are not very interested and eight percent are not at all interested. 35% somewhat) of those who currently are not licensed. among men (18%. f t % interested in purchasing/leasing a PHEV when they become available 51 44 38 44 Somewhat interested Very interested P t Postsecondary Q28 16 T t l Total 12 High Hi h school h l or less 15 College/ C ll / some university 23 Canadians (including those who are not licensed drivers) were shown a brief description of current hybrids and then a description of PHEVs. Of the remaining 40 percent. with six in ten saying they are either very (16%) or somewhat (44%) interested. Strong interest is highest among city dwellers (18%) and lowest in rural areas (10%) (18% vs (10%). Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 25 Environics . 62 percent are interested (17% very. Interest is moderately strong. Strong interest is not linked to income. 13% of those aged 45 and over). those with the lowest household incomes are the most likely not to be planning to buy a vehicle at all.Interest in purchasing or leasing a PHEV Si in Six i ten t Canadians C di express at t least l t modest d t interest i t t in i purchasing h i a PHEV in i the th future. but there are some subgroup differences to note. and were asked how interested they would be in purchasing or leasing a plug-in hybrid vehicle once they become available in the next couple of years. Being very interested in PHEVs also increases with level of education and is highest among those at the post-secondary level (23%). vs. compared to 48 percent (13% very. 14% of women) women). but being somewhat interested does increase proportionately with household income. and those with higher levels of familiarity with EVT. and among younger Canadians (21% of 1818 to 29-year-olds 29 year olds and 18% of those aged 30 to 44. Interest in PHEVs is uniform across the country. Among those with a driver’s license. and seven percent cannot say. Strong interest in PHEVs is expressed to a greater degree by those typically carrying two or more passengers. 45% somewhat). vs.

there is evidence that having such vehicles in rental fleets will give other drivers an opportunity to experience the technology: close to half (47%) of those who are not very interested in purchasing a PHEV. While there is a strong link between being interested in purchasing a PHEV and being interested in renting one. Interest is highest among those under age 30 and decreases as age increases. and three in ten (30%) of those not at all interested. 52% of those currently not licensed). i St Strong interest i t t is i highest hi h t among those th with ith some business b i use of their vehicle. as are those with post-secondary education. interest decreases along with a decrease in community size. but only two in ten are definitely interested. would be at least somewhat interested in renting one.Interest in renting a PHEV The majority of Canadians would be at least somewhat interested in driving a PHEV as a rental car. Six in ten would be at least somewhat interested (61% of those with a license. those who carry multiple passengers. Somewhat interested Q38 Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 26 Environics . with one in ten (20%) indicating strong interest. % interested in renting a PHEV Total City centre Suburb Town/village Rural 20 24 20 16 14 Very interested 32 40 41 40 41 Canadians were asked to indicate their level of interest in driving a plug-in hybrid as a rental car. Of the remaining. vs. 18% of women). 17 percent are not very interested. Interest in renting a PHEV is highest in Ontario and among those living in city centres. 15 percent are not at all interested. men are somewhat more likely to be very interested (23% vs. long-range commuters. those with some previous experience with hybrids and those claiming to have greater familiarity with EVT. and nine percent cannot say. Similar to purchasing a PHEV.

would have more dependence Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 27 Environics . Somewhat important Ability to carry heavy loads. Residents of rural areas. but are still at least somewhat important to the majority. Other potential barriers are very important to three in ten or fewer. There are few regional differences to report. and those with a high school diploma or less are more likely than those with more education to see all but the need to plug in to recharge as being a major barrier. those with at least some business use of their vehicle. barriers The most notable barriers. Concerns about limited plug-in access is also key for those in one-vehicle households. Half of Canadians each see the higher purchase price (compared to a conventional vehicle) and concerns about limited access to plug-in locations as significant drawbacks.Barriers to PHEV purchase Reliability R li bilit and d ongoing i maintenance i t costs t are the th most t significant i ifi t d drawbacks b k t to considering id i a PHEV. and availability of desirable styles and sizes is very important to higher proportions of those with three or more vehicles in their household. % saying each is an important barrier to purchasing a PHEV Reliability Maintenance/ operation costs Higher purchase price Limited access to plug-in locations Ability to carry heavy loads Availability of size/styles Need to plug in to recharge battery 64 62 49 48 30 27 25 36 37 46 37 31 32 42 Q31 Very important Canadians with at least some interest in purchasing a PHEV were asked to rate the importance of each of seven possible barriers. who p on a PHEV. except that residents of Quebec are somewhat less likely than other Canadians to rate either the availability of styles and sizes. PHEV but the higher purchase price and limited access to plug-in locations are also notable barriers. and those aged 45 and over are more likely than others to rate each of these issues as very important. or the higher purchase Subgroup: Canadians with at least some interest in purchasing or leasing a hybrid (n=1.711) price as very important. those who drive more than 30 km per day and those who typically carry two or more passengers. rated as being very important by six in ten or more each. Women are more likely than men to rate reliability and the need to plug in to recharge as very important. are the reliability of the vehicle and the ongoing maintenance and operation costs (including battery replacement).

with only one in six considering this very important. Those with some personal experience with hybrids (first-or-second hand) are the most likely to say that each reason is very important. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 28 Environics .711) Very important ratings for each of these reasons is linked to having a greater self-assessed familiarity with EVT and decreases along with level of familiarity. Driving a vehicle with more advanced technology gy is considerably y less p pressing. basis Women are more likely than men to rate reducing impact on the environment as very important. g. Higher importance ratings are linked to post-secondary education. Those who strongly agree that a car says a lot about a person are three times as likely as those who strongly believe a car is just an appliance to rate “making a personal statement” as being a very important reason for purchasing a PHEV in the future. Very important Somewhat important Q30 Subgroup: Canadians with at least some interest in purchasing or leasing a hybrid (n=1. and to carrying two or more passengers on a regular basis. reducing dependence on gasoline and saving money on operating costs are all assigned the same importance (six in ten each say these are very important). with the exception of driving a vehicle with more advanced technology. reducing dependence on gas and saving money on operating costs as reasons for purchasing a PHEV. Reducing environmental impact.Reasons for purchasing or leasing a PHEV Canadians place equal importance on reducing impact on the environment. A majority do not rate “making a personal statement” as being an important reason for choosing a PHEV. % saying reason for buying a PHEV is important Reduced impact on environment Reduced dependence on gasoline Saving money on operating cost Advanced/innovative technology Personal statement 59 59 58 27 16 27 38 33 33 34 Canadians with at least some interest in purchasing or leasing a PHEV were asked to rate the importance of each of five reasons for considering a plug-in hybrid in the future. Reduced dependence on gas and driving a vehicle with more advanced technology are considered very important by higher proportions of drivers with at least some business use of their vehicle. deemed very y important p by y jjust over one-quarter (27%).

but it is a perceived barrier for most high-rise apartment or condo dwellers. which is consistent with a higher proportion of younger Canadians and urbanites living in apartments and other types of multi-unit accommodations. As expected. Seven in ten (70%) say yes. but are more likely to be unable to say. Those most likely to say would be difficult are g 30 ( (54%) ) or age g 60+ ( (52%). ) under age and drive 10 km or less per day (51%). A nearby electricity source is also linked to having personal experience with a hybrid and having the highest self-assessed level of familiarity with EVT. compared to 64% of those under age 45). 76% in rural areas) than among city dwellers (55%). compared p to dwelling: 51 percent in low-rise apartments or townhouses. the proportion saying yes is higher for those living in the suburbs (72%) and smaller communities (80% in towns or villages. 29 Subgroup : Canadians who own a vehicle and are at least somewhat interested in PHEVs (n=1. There is no strong pattern by education or household income level. there is a strong link with type of g 77 p percent of those in single g family y homes have an outlet. and 38 percent of Canadians living in a high-rise apartment or condo over five storeys. As well. Those who do not have a nearby electrical outlet were asked to indicate how easy or difficult it would be to have an appropriate one installed. % with an electrical outlet near their home 70 55 72 80 76 Total City centre Suburb Town/ village Rural Canadians who currently own a vehicle and are at least somewhat interested in getting a PHEV were asked if there is an electrical outlet somewhere near their home that could be used to recharge a plug-in hybrid.Access to electrical outlet at home as a barrier to PHEVs Lack L k of f access t to an electrical l t i l outlet tl t at t home h is i not t a major j impediment i di t to t purchasing h i a PHEV for f th the majority of Canadians. Having an appropriate electrical outlet is higher among those living in the west of Canada (76%) and also among older Canadians (74% of those aged 45 and over. Women are less likely than men to say this would be easy. . Three in ten (28%) say this would be easy.329) Q32 Having an electric outlet installed for use in recharging a PHEV Easy Difficult Cannot say (n=392) % 28 43 29 Q33 Subgroup : Canadians who own a vehicle and are at least somewhat interested in PHEVs but who do not have an available electrical outlet Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology Environics . ) live in single-vehicle g households ( (48%). Those most likely to have an outlet are those with longrange/ high-speed commutes and those driving 30 or more kilometres per day.

and those with higher levels of education and household income. those with at least some business use of their vehicle (89%). It is also most common among those living in multi-vehicle (3+) households.001) were also asked about access to an outlet at those locations. In addition. 58% of women). vs. This is considerably higher in the west of f Canada C (41%). which may reflect access to school parking. and by those under age 30 (31%). or n=1. Driving to work or school is most reported by men (66%. which may reflect parking availability by occupation. and of course those indicating they have daily commutes and higher number of kilometres driven each day. Only one-quarter of those who drive to work or school say they have an available outlet. 20% of women). Driving to work or school is also linked to having some experience with hybrids and greater self-assessed familiarity with EVT. those aged 30 to 44 (80%). % who drive to work/school who have access to an electrical outlet 41 25 19 West Ontario Subgroup : Canadians who own a vehicle who drive to work or school (n=1. participants in the Vancouver focus group sessions were much more likely than those in Toronto and Montreal to report access to outlets at work or school.Access to electrical outlet at work as a barrier to PHEVs Lack of access to an electrical outlet at work or school may be an impediment to obtaining a PHEV for many Canadians. vs. ( %) where it is more common for f such locations to offer ff outlets for f block heaters in the winter. Availability of an outlet at work or school is also more reported by men (30%. those owning a vehicle who drive that vehicle to work or school (62%.001) 15 Quebec 15 East Total Q35 In addition to asking about electrical outlets near the home that could be used to recharge a plug-in hybrid. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 30 Environics .

Those claiming to be most familiar are the most likely to be willing to pay a 20 percent premium – but they are also the most likely not to wish to pay even five percent. Those willing to pay higher premiums for PHEVs are younger (under age 45). Just over one-quarter (27%) are unwilling to pay a fivepercent premium. % willing to pay premium 73 55 22 Willing to pay at least 5% Willing to pay at least 10% Willing to pay at least 15% 7 Willing to pay up to 20% Q36abcd Subgroup : Canadians at least somewhat interested in PHEVs (n=1. premium leaving 73 percent who would pay at least that much extra. live in cities or the suburbs. Having greater self-assessed familiarity with EVT has a mixed effect on willingness to pay premiums.190) Those with at least some interest in obtaining a PHEV when they become available where asked about their willingness to pay several levels of premium to purchase or lease this type of vehicle. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 31 Environics . and have some previous first. Seven percent would pay as much as a 20-percent premium for a PHEV.or second-hand experience with hybrids. extra Just over half (55%) are willing to pay up to a 10 10percent premium.Price considerations in PHEV purchase Seven in ten Canadians with at least some interest in PHEVs would be willing to pay a five percent premium to purchase or lease one. Not being willing to pay even a five-percent premium is higher among those aged 45 to 59.

incentives are of more interest to city and town/village dwellers. parking discounts.) $2.500 tax rebate Free battery charging available in community Available in size wanted Eligible for parking discounts Discounted rates on rental of larger vehicle 37 27 27 19 17 16 26 34 42 39 47 40 Canadians who said they are not very interested in purchasing or leasing a PHEV were asked if a number of incentives would make them more likely to consider this type of vehicle. Those under age 30 are drawn more than older Canadians to most of these incentives. and a $2.000 km or 10 years. being the most likely in the country to say they would not be more likely to consider a PHEV if offered a price cap. % who say incentive would increase consideration of a PHEV Warranty-backed guarantee on battery (160. fast battery charging or a purchase premium cap. to last 160. and Quebec and 5% over comparable gas vehicle Ontario residents are both more likely than others to be attracted by the Subgroup : Canadians not interested in PHEVs (n=521) Q37 battery warranty.Effectiveness of PHEV purchase incentives A strong battery warranty. In general. Quebec residents are the most likely to say they would Battery recharged in d fi it l consider definitely id a PHEV if the th price i premium i was capped d at t five fi percent. free battery charging or a battery warranty. which close to four in ten say would be of definitely interest. Other possible inducements. There are some differences in subgroup interest for these conditions. parking or rental discounts. Across the country. Just under three in ten each would definitely consider a PHEV if offered a $2. such as desired size. or 10 yrs.500 tax rebate. strongly engage two in ten or fewer. t 15 45 no more than two hours Yes. Residents of the west are the most resistant to incentives incentives.000 km.500 tax rebate or free battery charging in their community community. definitely Ontario residents are most likely to be swayed by free battery charging or a Purchase price no more than 9 41 Yes. maybe discount on renting a larger vehicle when necessary. Those driving less than 30 km per day are more likely than others to be open to parking discounts or a battery warranty. with the exception of a battery warranty warranty. substantial tax rebate and free community battery charging are considered the most attractive incentives to purchasing a PHEV. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 32 Environics . The most compelling incentive is a warranty-backed guarantee on the battery.

Battery-electric y vehicles (BEVs) Perceptions of BEVs Environmental advantages g of BEVs Barriers to purchasing a BEV Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology Environics .

if it ever did. As a rule. compared to a standard gasoline-powered vehicle). cost savings from a BEV might not be significant. participants had very little knowledge of the principles by which BEVs. again. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 34 Environics . and perceived them to be very limited in terms of utility. There was very little knowledge of BEVs among focus group participants. Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) were assessed in detail in the qualitative portion of this study only. and would potentially require far less maintenance than an internal combustion engine.Perceptions of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) Most focus group participants had little awareness or understanding of BEVs. participants Although some participants in the Montreal and Vancouver groups were aware of the ZENN and some Vancouver participants were aware of the Tesla roadster. most participants could not give examples of BEVs. Especially noteworthy is the fact that most participants (with the exception of some in the Vancouver male group and one Montreal participant who was an engineer) could not really picture what an electric motor that was capable of powering a vehicle would look like. For the most part. the image of the battery was basically that of the type of battery that is currently used in internal combustion engine vehicles. most assumed the cost of operation would be lower (although most felt the cost savings would be no more than 50-75%. It would “It look like a computer?” g regarding g g the battery y that would be required q for a BEV. Thus. over the lifespan of the vehicle. most did not have a firm idea as to the cost. with estimates ranging from the hundreds of dollars to $10.” Although most participants assumed that BEVs would be cheaper to operate than standard internal combustion engine vehicles. Although g most p participants p had the impression p that the There was also little knowledge battery would be large and heavy. only larger. the image of the BEV was that of a small. Again. low-powered vehicle unsuitable for carrying large numbers of passengers. operate. participants were generally unaware that such vehicles would not require an exhaust system or a transmission. there was no agreement among participants as to how much the cost savings would be. Participants were generally aware that the battery would also be expensive but. they did not really have a firm idea of how big or how heavy it would be. heavy cargo or towing a trailer.000. However. or electric motors in general. many felt that the higher initial cost plus the cost of the battery would mean that. “It would probably take many years to pay for itself. For most participants.

right?” “I think I already heard that these batteries can hurt the environment when you dispose of them. or only somewhat l ? cleaner? Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 35 Environics .” Although these perceptions were heard in all focus groups. in the same way that a number of participants questioned the “real” cost savings associated with a BEV. Participants p g generally y saw two elements to the BEVs’ environmental benefits. The first was fewer emissions. participants also generally felt that BEVs would be quieter and “greener” q g than conventional vehicles. it doesn’t gas. most participants agreed that. “Well. overall. A number of participants noted that.Environmental advantage of BEVs Most participants saw an environmental advantage to BEVs. “I don’t know – when you factor everything in. What was generally unknown was the extent of this benefit – was the BEV much cleaner than a gasoline-powered vehicle. However BEV many also questioned the “real” extent of the environmental benefit. to the extent that electricity was generated from “dirty” sources like coal.” and that both manufacture and (especially) disposal of these batteries might cause environmental harm. so. A number of participants felt that the battery was very “environmentally-unfriendly. but the extent of this advantage was often questioned. There were two major issues. this reduced the environmental benefit of BEVs. Most participants also saw an environmental benefit to the fact that the BEV does not require gasoline. In addition to being cheaper to operate (but more expensive to purchase). The other issue was the battery. I’m not sure if there’s much [environmental benefit]. The first was associated with how the electricity used to power the vehicle was itself generated. the BEV was probably a more environmentally-friendly from of transportation than the standard gasoline-powered vehicle. Even those participants who did not immediately understand that there would be no tailpipe emissions (and no tailpipe!) in a BEV still felt it would pollute less than a conventional vehicle.” However. it’s burn g gotta be cleaner.

Underlying many of the negative perceptions of the BEV (as it was described in the focus groups) was the fear that a BEV could leave you stranded. even if you ran out of fuel. there was little understanding of how they would work and some concerns over not owning such a key component of the vehicle. they knew they would be expensive.” t ti ” In addition to fears of being stranded. This is especially true if power-consuming options like a heater (seen as an absolute necessity everywhere in Canada) seriously restrict the range. The range limitation emerged as a key barrier. relatively few participants expressed any real interest in purchasing a BEV.or cargo-carrying capacity or extended range. Participants were concerned that gasolinereplacement of the battery might negate much of the cost savings associated with the operation of a BEV over a gasoline powered vehicle. there was a strong perception in the focus groups that a BEV lacked needed versatility.” The battery itself was another key locus of concern. “If I took care of my battery. refuelling was quick and inexpensive.Barriers to purchasing a BEV Vehicle range. there is no easy way to bring new “fuel” to the vehicle and. they wanted to drive a vehicle that could meet at least some of these needs when required. If you run out of charge in a BEV. “What if it dies? What do you do? You can’t just fill it up at the gas station. time needed to recharge the battery and concerns related to the availability of outlets. The main barriers were range. even if you are near an outlet. Although participants did not have a firm idea about the cost of BEV batteries. Although many participants rarely needed extra passenger. recharge time and availability of plug-in locations are key barriers to BEVs. Although there was awareness in all sessions of proposed battery exchange programs. both in terms of cost and lifespan. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 36 Environics . Participants did not have this fear with a gasoline-powered vehicle or a current hybrid because. I wouldn’t want to give it up and maybe get a dud. charging time is so long that it moves beyond mere inconvenience and becomes a serious concern. Although the driving habits of many of the focus group participants made them appear to be good candidates for BEVs (mostly short-distance driving at relatively low speeds).

owning a BEV would remove an important i t t element l t of f spontaneity t it th that t is i currently tl part t of f vehicle hi l ownership. i ) if you want to jump in your car and go anywhere.” Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 37 Environics . With a BEV. ‘Today I want to go for a long drive. there was a sense (best articulated in the Vancouver male group). hi Ri Right ht now (according ( di to t this thi view).Barriers to purchasing a BEV (continued) Vehicle range. recharge time and availability of plug-in locations are key barriers to BEVs. In addition to the specific concerns described previously. to ensure you are fully charged. you can.’ that would be gone. “Any bit of love affair with your vehicle like vehicle. that owning a BEV would require a complete change in your orientation towards your vehicle. that you can recharge along the way if necessary. you would have to plan every trip in advance. Basically. and so on.

Driver/vehicle profile Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology Environics .

These drivers of somewhat larger or less fuel-efficient vehicles may see an advantage to having at least temporary access to a PHEV on specific occasions.Vehicle type The t Th type of f vehicle hi l currently tl driven di is i not t a major j factor f t in i whether h th a driver d i will ill be b receptive ti to t EVT in the future. Cars Mid-size Compact Minivan Full-size Full size Sub-compact Sports Luxury % 75 25 21 12 8 4 3 2 Q4. The only difference is in strong interest in renting a PHEV in the future.708) The majority of Canadians currently drive a car (versus a truck or SUV) and that car is most likely to be a small or mid-size one. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 39 Environics .5 Trucks Full-size Compact Other types % 9 6 3 % 1 SUVs Mid-size Compact Large/luxury % 13 7 4 3 (Other types include crossovers and motorcycles) Hybrid Yes No % 3 97 (n=46) Hybrid type SUV Full-size car Mid-size car Sub/compact car Truck/minivan Sports/luxury car % 22 20 19 17 13 7 Subgroup : Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle (n=1. whether out of curiosity or for some practical reason. which is highest among those currently driving a midsize or luxury car or luxury SUV. There are few notable differences in receptivity to electric vehicles by the type of vehicle currently driven.

11. except that those who have to tow are somewhat more likely to be very interested in renting a PHEV than those who do not tow. but most believe they need room for three or more.Vehicle use profile Those who Th h t typically i ll carry two t or more passengers exhibit hibit somewhat h t more interest i t t in i EVT than th drivers who carry fewer passengers. access to a small. while they normally require a larger vehicle. The need to tow suggests that. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 40 Environics . There is not much difference in receptivity to electric vehicles by whether the current vehicle is used for towing or by how much cargo room is needed. This is likely because they are more apt than others to be driving a larger vehicle that uses more fuel fuel. It is interesting and perhaps counterintuitive to note that drivers who normally carry two or more passengers are more likely than those who carry no passengers to be very interested in buying or renting a PHEV in the future.12 Canadian drivers typically carry one or no passengers. more efficient vehicle might be desired on occasion for specific purposes. Number normally carried % 37 39 16 9 Max number need to carry % 10 11 11 68 Vehicle used to tow Yes No Cargo room needed d d Very little Moderate amount A lot % 12 88 % 23 62 15 Passengers: 0 1 2 3 or more Subgroup : Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle (n=1.708) Q10 /b 11 12 Q10a/b.

Selecting the largest affordable vehicle is highest among men (36% vs. both are equally likely to be very interested in purchasing or in renting a PHEV in the future.708) Largest you could afford Q13 One way to segment consumer orientation to vehicle choice is to use a trade-off trade off scenario scenario. As can be expected. vans or pick-ups. to those driving more than 30 km per day. These results are quite consistent across the country. choice of vehicle size is linked to the type of vehicle normally driven. but having previously considered purchasing a hybrid is higher among those who chose the smallest vehicle to meet their needs. i k lluxury cars. Familiarity with electric vehicles or hybrids is similar among these two groups. Basis for vehicle choice 71 77 64 29 36 23 Total Men Women Smallest that fits needs Subgroup : Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle (n=1. with almost all drivers of compact and sub-compact cars saying i th they chose h th the smallest ll t t to meet t th their i needs.Size of vehicle as purchase decision (trade-off) Canadian C di d drivers i who h choose h the th smallest ll t vehicle hi l to t meet t their th i needs d are more likely lik l than th others th to t have previously considered a hybrid. A strong majority (seven in ten) indicate their approach is to choose the smallest vehicle to fit their needs. while three in ten say their choice is the largest vehicle they can afford. to reveal whether they are more inclined to choose a smaller or larger vehicle. llarge and d lluxury SUV SUVs being the most likely to say they chose the largest affordable. but both types are equally open to a future PHEV purchase. needs However However. Canadian drivers were asked which of two statements best describes their approach to choosing the type of vehicle they drive. 27% in smaller or larger communities). and to those normally carrying two or more passengers. d and dd drivers i of ff full-size ll i cars. 23% of women). to those living in a suburban location (34%. vs. Choosing a larger vehicle increases somewhat as household income increases. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 41 Environics .

an exception. are safety. Drivers who say that fuel efficiency or vehicle emissions/pollution are very important factors are the most likely to have considered buying a hybrid in the past.708) As might be expected. There is a moderate connection to importance of expected operating costs in being very interested in buying or in renting a PHEV. reliability is deemed most important. Drivers were asked to indicate the level of importance they y assign g to each of a list of vehicle characteristics. however. reputation and emissions/pollution are important when selecting a vehicle. In this prompted list. Familiarity with hybrids is quite uniform by most driver and vehicle profile factors. expected trade-in value and fuel type are very important factors. is that such familiarity is lower among those who say that purchase or lease price is not very or at all important. all rated very important by seven in ten. and among those for whom reliability is not at all important. and those who say that purchase price is not very or at all important to them. Half of drivers also feel that operating costs. belief that fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions are important is linked to a heightened interest in EVT. Importance of vehicle characteristics Reliability 87 70 70 69 51 50 49 40 39 27 24 42 Q15 12 27 25 29 42 Safety/crash protection Purchase/lease price Fuel efficiency Expected operating costs R t ti of Reputation f make/model k / d l Vehicle emissions/pollution Fuel type Vehicle size Vehicle power Expected trade-in value 39 43 42 49 50 Very important Somewhat important Subgroup : Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle (n=1. The next three factors. price and fuel efficiency. or to be very interested in buying or renting a PHEV in the future. Trade-in value and vehicle power are the least important.Importance of considerations when choosing a vehicle Drivers for whom fuel efficiency or vehicle emissions are very important considerations are the most drawn to EVT. hi l about b four f in i ten each h place l strong importance i on fuel type and vehicle size. Being very interested in purchasing a PHEV when they become available is also somewhat higher among those who think that safety and crash protection. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 42 Environics .

%). and see themselves as a source of vehicle purchasing information for their family and friends.708) Another way to characterize orientation to vehicle ownership is to establish how people feel about their vehicles: are they just appliances. and to be interested in a future PHEV purchase or rental. they tend to have advanced attitudes about vehicle innovation.Personal orientation to vehicle ownership The small proportion of Canadian drivers who see vehicles as a form of personal expression are more likely to have some experience and familiarity with EVT. The majority agree. but they are more likely to be very interested in purchasing or renting a PHEV than those who view a car more as an appliance. or live in multiple-vehicle households. This attitude is also most prevalent among drivers with some hybrid experience and a greater level of familiarity with EVT. either somewhat (32%) ( %) or strongly gy( (35%). O i t ti t Orientation to vehicle hi l ownership hi Total <30 30 to 59 60+ 31 51 30 19 A car says a lot l t about b t a person 67 47 67 79 Subgroup : Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle (n=1. They are not more likely to be familiar with hybrids or to have considered purchasing one one. Q14 A car is just an appliance The small proportion who strongly agree with that a car says a lot about a person is an interesting group. appliances or do they say something about a person? Licensed drivers with access to a vehicle were shown two statements about vehicle ownership and asked to indicate the extent to which they agree with either the first or the second statement. factors that are also linked to a higher level of receptivity to electric vehicles (see next page). something g that gets them from point A to point B. cities have higher household incomes. As well. pp . live in cities. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 43 Environics . incomes are daily commuters or drive more than 30 km per day. that a car is jjust an appliance. Those most likely to hold this view are under age 30. Three in ten (12% strongly 19% somewhat) express the view that a car says a lot about a person and that their car must reflect their personal style and image.

with being prepared to pay more for an environmentally-friendly product. Only about three in ten each agree (less than one in ten strongly) that they are willing to pay more for a vehicle that is different in design or style than the ones most people buy. Interest declines and is lowest among those who strongly disagree with these attitudinal statements.708) Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 44 Environics . or that they are willing to experiment with buying new vehicles before they become mainstream. A similarly small proportion identify them-selves as a vehicle information source for friends and family.c. t but b t these consumers are among the most likely to be open to electric vehicles. either strongly (13%) or somewhat (44%). Attitudes about vehicle choices Prepared to pay more for environmentally-friendly product Willing to pay more for different design/style Family/friends come to me for advice on what vehicle best to buy Willing to experiment with new types of vehicles 13 7 7 6 25 24 26 44 Drivers were asked their level of agreement with several statements about vehicle selection. They are the most likely to have considered purchasing a hybrid in the past or to be very interested in purchasing or renting a PHEV in the future. They are most likely to agree. Interest in electric vehicles is highest among those drivers who are “trendsetters” – that is.g Subgroup : Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle (n=1.b. is those who ho strongl strongly agree with ith any an of these four statements.Attitudes about vehicle choice Few d F drivers i are strongly t l i inclined li d t to be b trendsetters t d tt when h it comes to t vehicle hi l design d i or type. Strongly agree Somewhat agree Q16a.

even though they are as likely to claim they know someone who drives a hybrid as those who have thought more about the impact of emissions. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 45 Environics .708) ) Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Q16d. Those who strongly agree they have not considered emission impacts are less likely to have considered purchasing a hybrid. and to be very interested in buying or renting a PHEV when available. or to be very interested in buying or renting a PHEV. Most drivers agree.” Drivers are more divided about the wasteful behaviour of those driving large trucks or SUVs for routine personal use. to have ever considered purchasing one. These attitudes are linked to consumer receptivity to electric vehicles: • Those who strongly agree that they often think about fuel efficiency when driving are more likely than others to be familiar with hybrids. and the majority disagree with the statement “The The effect of emissions from cars and trucks on our environment is not something I have really thought about. Attitudes about vehicle use and air quality Often think Oft thi k about b t reducing d i f fuell consumption while driving Feel resentment re wasteful behaviour of those driving large trucks/SUVs Have a e not ot t thought oug t much uc about e effect ect of car/truck emissions on environment 38 19 7 22 30 31 21 48 20 93 37 Strongly agree Somewhat agree Subgroup g p : Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle ( (n=1.f Drivers D i were asked k d th their i level l l of f agreement t with ith th three statements reflecting attitudes to fuel consumption and the environment. to have ever considered purchasing one. • Those who strongly agree they feel resentment toward wasteful drivers are more likely than those who feel less resentful to know someone who owns or drives a hybrid. hybrid but actually express a reasonable amount of interest in a future purchase or rental of a PHEV PHEV. that they often think about reducing fuel consumption while driving.Attitudes about vehicles and air quality Drivers D i who h feel f l more involved i l d in i fuel f l efficiency ffi i and d emissions i i issues i are more receptive ti than th others to EVT. but half at least somewhat agree that they feel resentment.e. • Those who strongly agree they have not thought much about the effect of vehicle emissions on the environment are the least likely to have heard something about electric vehicles. either strongly or somewhat.

Appendix A: Study Methodology Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology Environics .

this survey made use of an on-line panel. The sample was drawn according to the plan in the table on the right.Survey methodology The results reported here are based on an on-line survey of 2. the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) has recently issued a new “code of practice” for its members. Panellists are compensated for their efforts. The sample for this survey was sourced from GMI. and • Made it possible to maximize the sample size to most effectively capture the opinions of important segments of the population. stating that.000 . their results cannot be quoted q in terms of “margin g of sampling p g error.001 Canadians aged 18 or older. and permitting analysis by important subgroups. conducted from January. Province/Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) Newfoundland & Labrador Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia New Brunswick Quebec (excluding Montreal CMA) Montreal CMA Sample size (n) 65 25 75 75 260 240 Ontario (excluding Toronto CMA) Toronto CMA 300 240 Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia TOTAL 120 120 240 240 2.” . Questionnaire design Environics designed the questionnaire with input from Pollution Probe and its partners. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 47 Environics . GMI’s panellists are highly profiled and undergo a rigorous recruiting process. as is used for probability-based telephone surveys. because panel-based surveys are not based on random probability samples. An on-line methodology was chosen because this option: • More effectively accommodated the very tight timetable under which the research had to be conducted. i h As there is no source of random e-mail addresses. S Sample l selection l ti The objective of this research was to gather data from a representative sample of Canadian residents (18 years and over) from which the results can be extrapolated to the full population with a reasonable degree of confidence. recognized for employing the highest standards of panel integrity. one of the world’s leading offline and on-line global panel providers. Canada’s research industry association.

045 045 % 100 11 3.001 2 125 2. •The survey was officially registered with the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA).045 834 124 2. inform themselves about the industry and/or register a complaint. •Invitation e-mails. so that earlier responses were not altered after reading later questions. The on-line form did not permit moving backwards through the survey. p Each time the respondent p entered the The unique survey. using 2006 Census data. age and region. Completion results Broadcast e-mails sent E E-mails mails opened The results are shown in the table on the right right. which included the URL link to the survey and a unique password.Survey administration The survey was conducted by Environics using a secure. This registration system permits potential participants to verify the legitimacy of a survey. fully featured web-based survey environment: •Environics programmed the questionnaire into survey software and hosted the survey on a secure server. q identifier p permitted respondents p to return to the survey y if interrupted p during g completion. Of opened e-mails: Incompletes/dropped off/panel transfer issue Quota full Completed surveys Response rate (completions + quota full) # 28. Weighting The survey data were weighted to the population of Canadians 18 years of age and over. by gender. and created an electronic data file that was coded and analyzed (including open-ended responses).125 100 27 4 66 70 Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 48 Environics . responses •Environics electronically captured all survey responses as they were submitted. Steps were taken to assure (and also guarantee) complete confidentiality and anonymity of survey responses.287 3 3. were sent to selected panellists Technical support was provided to survey respondents as required. •Assigning a unique identifier (password) to each respondent ensured that only one version of the survey was accepted per respondent. it opened at the point where they left off. The completion rate was 66% of opened e-mails. Pollution Probe was provided with a “beta test” link to review the survey on-line for final approval.

Qualitative methodology Number and location of focus groups In total. Participant selection Participants were selected from among the general public to meet the following criteria: 1. 2. Commuters and non-commuters were represented. All participants owned. with input from Pollution Probe and its partners. A range of daily driving distances were represented (10km. 3. t d 5. Toronto (February 9. Th who h used d their th i vehicles hi l f for personall and d for f a mix i of f persona/business /b i use were represented. 11-30km and more than 30km). 4 Those 4. 2. Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 49 Environics . leased or had regular access to a vehicle. Montreal (February 11). two in each of three locations: 1. 2009). six (6) focus groups were held. A copy of the discussion guide is shown in Appendix C. one session was held with females and one with males. Both those interested and those uninterested in plug-in hybrid vehicles were represented Discussion guide The discussion guide used for the focus groups was designed by Environics. Current hybrid owners and self-professed “experts” on hybrid technology were excluded. Vancouver (February 12) In each location. 6. and 3.

Appendix B: Survey Questionnaire Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology Environics .

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 51 Environics .

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 52 Environics .

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 53 Environics .

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 54 Environics .

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 55 Environics .

Appendix C: Discussion Guide Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology Environics .

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 57 Environics .

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 58 Environics .

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 59 Environics .

Canadians’ Perceptions of Electric Vehicle Technology 60 Environics .