9 December, 2015

Plug'n Drive to launch GTHA-focused EV Owners survey

The survey is closed. Full report to be published in the near future.

With the support of The Atmospheric Fund (TAF), Plug’n Drive is launching Ontario’s first-ever electric vehicle (EV) owners survey. Ontario has just over 5,000 EV drivers on the road that make up 32% of Canada’s total EV drivers. However, there is virtually no information about their demographic profile, where they drive or why they bought an EV.

Most of what we know about the EV buying demographic owes itself to the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Driver Survey that found government incentive programs, access to High Occupancy Vehicle lanes and environmental considerations to be among the top motivational factors in the decision to purchase an EV. In addition, while 60% were satisfied with electric driving range, all respondents expressed varying levels of dissatisfaction with the existing public charging infrastructure.

On the surface, Ontario’s EV landscape is very similar to California’s. Ontario’s EV drivers get access to HOV lanes, Ontario has an EV purchase incentive program and Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity grids in North America. This begs the question, why is EV uptake so much lower here? “No survey of this kind has been undertaken in Ontario,” said Cara Clairman, President and CEO of Plug’n Drive. “Understanding the needs of EV drivers in the GTHA is crucial for identifying and eliminating the barriers to wide-scale EV adoption.”  

The survey will identify the behaviours of the GTHA’s EV driving community and thereby:

  • Provide information about EV usage patterns to Ontario’s electricity distributors;
  • Inform practical EV policies and programs; and
  • Identify optimal regions to install public charging stations.

The survey will also include a non-owners component that will add to our understanding of what is holding Ontario’s driving community back from making the switch to an electric car.

EVs are a key piece of the puzzle as Ontario rolls out its climate change action strategy, “Transportation is the largest source of Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions and is responsible for about 40% of Toronto’s total emissions,” said Julia Langer, CEO of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund. “TAF is supporting Plug’n Drive’s work because EVs can play an important role in Toronto’s transition to a low carbon-economy.”

The survey is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.

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