A study has found that Canadians’ interest in purchasing an electric vehicle (EVs) has declined in the past year, despite the Trudeau government pushing EVs as part of its “Net-Zero” agenda. 

The J.D. Power Canada Electric Vehicle Consideration Study found that 66% of Canadians are either “very unlikely” or “somewhat unlikely” to consider an electric car for their next purchase – up 13% from last year. 

The number of Canadians considering an electric car has decreased from 47% to 34%.

EV consideration is at its lowest in the Prairies, where only 22% of people showed interest in purchasing a zero emission vehicle. 26% of Maritimers, 34% of Ontarians, 39% of Quebecers and 46% of British Columbians said they are considering getting an EV.

As for the reasons behind EV hesitation, 63% cited concerns with range, 59% cited the price of the cars, and 55% noted a lack of charging stations.

55% of those surveyed also say they’ve never been in an electric car. Among those who have been in an EV, less than half (43%) said they are “somewhat likely” or “very likely” considering purchasing one.

Canada’s EV trends differ from the United States, where 61% of American consumers are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to consider purchasing an EV this year – up from 59% last year.

Speaking about the results of the study, J.D. Power Canada automotive practice director J.D. Ney said that “despite current legislation that is pushing hard for EV adoption, consumers in Canada are still not sold on the idea of automotive electrification.”

“Growing concerns about affordability and infrastructure (both from charging and electrical grid perspectives), have caused a significant decline in the number of consumers who see themselves in the market for an EV anytime soon.”

Ney added that “against this backdrop, it is going to take significant investment and close collaboration between manufacturers and lawmakers to address issues of overall affordability, capability and infrastructure before Canada can reach its national and provincial EV sales targets.”

The Trudeau argument wants to drastically increase the number of electric cars on the road as part of its “Net-Zero” agenda – which will eventually see the elimination of new gasoline car sales. 

The Liberals announced last year that it plans to mandate 20% of new vehicles sold be zero emission in 2026. The mandated percentage would then increase to 60% in 2030 and 100% in 2035.

8.4% of new cars registered in Canada in 2022 were battery electric vehicles. Canada aims to have “Net-Zero” carbon emissions by 2050.

The Trudeau government has offered billions in subsidies to car manufacturers to build EV plants in Canada, including 13 billion dollars to Volkswagen, an amount that has been described as “utterly off the charts.”

The J.D Power study looked at responses from 4,488 people and was fielded in April-May 2023.