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    Electric Vehicle TechnologyMarch 2009

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  • 8/13/2019 Perceptions Ev t



    Pollution Probe gratefully acknowledges the funding support provided by the Office of Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and TransportationEnergy ofNatural 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, DerekLeebosh, Ian MacIntyre, Keith Neuman and Cheri-Anne Olsen.

    For more information, please contact:

    Rebecca Spring Bob Oliver Project Manager Executive Director Pollution Probe Pollution Probe416-926-1907 x238 416-926-1907 [email protected] [email protected]

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics3

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    Table of contents

    Executive summary 6

    Research overview 10

    Awareness and knowledge of electric vehicle technology 12

    Appendix A: Study methodology 47

    Appendix B: Survey questionnaire 51

    A endix C: Discussion uide 57

    Overall awareness of and familiarity with electric-powered vehicles


    Familiarity with hybrids 17

    Plu -in h brid electric vehicles PHEVs 25

    Interest in PHEVs 26

    Considerations and barriers to purchasing a PHEV 26

    Price considerations and incentives 32

    Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) 34

    Perceptions of BEVs 35

    Environmental advantage of BEVs 36

    Barriers to purchasing a BEV 37

    Driver/vehicle profile 39

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics4

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    Key findings

    Awareness and knowledge of elect ric vehicle technology

    Almost nine in ten Canadians have seen or heard something about vehicles powered fully or in part by electricity, with awareness somewhathigher in Ontario and western Canada than in the east.

    Canadians have both positive and negative impressions of electric vehicles, with environmental benefits (on the positive side), and range- - .

    Relatively few Canadians profess familiarity with 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. Younger Canadians, men andthose living inurban areas are most likely to indicate familiarity with electric vehicles.

    With the exce tion of the Prius Canadians are enerall unable to name vehicles currentl on the road that make use of electric ower.

    Awareness of hybrid vehicles is generally high; more than eight in ten are aware, with men and younger drivers most likely toindicateawareness.

    Among those who do not currently own a hybrid, three in ten have some experience with them, either first-hand (through having driven one)or, more commonly, by knowing someone who has owned or driven one.

    Those who have considered purchasing a hybrid cite environmental benefits, fuel efficiency and cost savings (all in about equal number) asthe reasons they have considered such a vehicle. Those who have actually purchased a hybrid generally cite these same factors, but theenvironmental benefit is mentioned twice as often as fuel efficiency or cost savings by this group.

    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 gasoline-powered vehicles with an electric motor to provide more power when needed are currently available, with an equal proportion believingplug-in hybrid vehicles are currently available. Four in ten among those aware of hybrids believe battery-electric vehicles are currentlyavailable.

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics6

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    Key findings


    There is little awareness or understanding of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Most are unable to name examples of such vehicles and areunfamiliar with the technology to the extent that they do not understand many of the key differences between electric motors and internalcombustion engines.

    There is also little understandin of the batter that would be needed in such a vehicle. Be ond the fact that the batter would be lar e andexpensive, not much is known.

    The most common perception of the BEV is of a small vehicle with less power, and a more limited range than conventional vehiclesorcurrent hybrids. While most assume that BEVs will be cheaper to operate, there is little real understanding of the potential cost savings,especially when factoring in the initial purchase price and the cost of battery replacement.

    s are genera y cons ere o e queer an ceaner an conven ona ve ces. owever, percep ons o e envronmena a vanageof the BEV are dependent on the source of the electricity used to power the vehicle (e.g., coal-fired vs. hydro), and concerns about theenvironmental impacts of battery production and disposal.

    Limited range (especially when power-consuming options are used), long recharge times and concerns about the availability of plug-inlocations top the list of perceived barriers to purchasing BEVs. There is a perception that a BEV is not sufficiently versatile to be really useful

    having to plan vehicle usage in advance to a much greater degree). Many feel that a BEV takes away the sense of spontaneity currentlyassociated with vehicle ownership the ability to just jump in the car and go wherever you want.

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics8

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    Research overview

    BackgroundPollution Probe, a leading Canadian environmental not-for-profit group dedicated to achieving positive, tangible environmental change through itsresearch, education and advocacy programs, is a Steering Committee member of the Electric Vehicle Technology Roadmap. The Roadmapspurpose is to help industry, its supply-chain, academic and research groups, and government come together to jointly identify and prioritize the

    , .

    Pollution Probe commissioned research and analysis to further stakeholder understanding of challenges towards the adoption of electric vehicle

    technologies (EVTs) in Canada. This research program was designed to assess Canadians attitudes towards electric vehicle technology, in orderto provide input into the development of the technology roadmap and its implementation plan, to provide input into communications plans andstrategies to promote greater awareness and acceptance of the technology, and to establish baseline attitudinal indicators that can be trackedover me. e researc w conr ue a eeper un ersan ng o e curren eve o pu c awareness an ana ans percep ons o eecrcvehicle technologies to the Technology Roadmap.

    Objectives easure e ana an pu cs eves o awareness, nowe ge an comor w eec rc ve ce ec noogy .

    Determine the motivators to adoption of EVT.

    Determine the barriers to broader acceptance and market diffusion of EVT.

    Identify key group differences.

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    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics9

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    An initial quantitative online survey was conducted with 2,001 Canadians, to generally gauge perceptions and awareness, to identify segments,and to examine regional variations. Following this, qualitative focus groups were conducted with segments in regions that were identified as beingof interest in the initial national survey, to more deeply examine the perceived trade-offs associated with electric vehicles; the key drivers ofsupport and opposition to the technology; the interest in (or requirement for) the use of incentives to promote the technology; the potential interest


    A more complete description of the study methodology is appended to this report.

    Report synopsisThe re ort be ins with a discussion of awareness and knowled e of electric vehicle technolo followed b awareness of and interest in lu -inhybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), including perceived advantages and barriers. Following this is a section profilingdrivers. Appended are descriptions of the quantitative and qualitative methods employed in conducting this research, the survey questionnaireand the discussion guide.

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    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics10

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    Awareness and knowledge of

    electric vehicle technologyOverall awareness of and familiarity with

    electric-powered vehicles

    Familiarity with hybrids

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics

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    Awareness of electric-powered vehicles

    The vast majority of Canadians have heard or seen something about vehicles powered by electric ity.

    Have heard or seen something about EVT


    about vehicles that are powered fully or in part by electricity. Awareness isstrongest in Ontario (90%) and the west (88%), and slightly lower in the

    east (83%) and Quebec (81%).

    This high level of awareness spans demographic subgroups, with minor


    . ,only a slight gender difference (88% of men, vs. 85% of women). Beingaware of electric-powered vehicles is also somewhat higher among thosewith more education and higher household incomes.

    There are also minor differences by driving patterns. Those most likely to


    -vehicle households, have at least some business use for their vehicle orwho drive more than 10 km per day. Awareness is not strongly linked tothe type of car normally driven.

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics12

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    Top-of-mind thoughts about electric vehicles

    The public has a variety of impressionsabout electric vehicles, both good (environ-

    mentally-friendly) and bad (limited driv ing

    distance and charging problems. Those


    Negative mentions (net) 29

    under age 30 are most l ikely to have

    opinions on this topic.


    Driving distance concerns 7

    Battery life/charging concerns 6

    Expensive 3

    Cost of h dro/electricit 3

    Positive mentions (net) 39

    Green/environmentally-friendly 15

    Economy/cost savings 6

    Reliability/performance concerns 2

    Vehicle power 2

    Other negative mentions (e.g. safety, expense) 6

    Fuel efficiency/reduced fuel consumption 4

    Less emissions and pollution/cleaner air 4

    Good idea 3


    Neutral mentions (net) 26

    Automaker (Chevrolet, Ford etc.) 10


    Other positive mentions 4Hybrid 7

    Small size 3

    Cost/price mentions 2

    Subgroups: Canadians who saw or heardsomething about electric vehicles (n=1,726)

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics13

    Other neutral mentions 2

    a e may no a o ue o mu pe men ons

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    Vehicle makes with full or partial electric power


    Any mention (net) 51

    Prius 16

    makes of vehicles with electric power capabili ty.

    Canadians aware of electric-powered vehicles were asked if they could nameany specific vehicle makes or models on the road today that are powered fully

    Toyota (unspecified) 9

    Honda (unspecified) 7

    Smart Car 5

    Volt 5

    .seen something about these electric vehicles, few can name any one specificmake and half are unable to even hazard a guess. There appears to be some

    confusion about whether certain vehicles are electric-powered or not, orwhether they are currently on the road, discontinued or pending.

    Civic 3

    Camry 3

    Escape 3

    - ,by 16 percent, followed distantly by the Smart Car and Volt (cited by 5%each); Civic, Camry and Escape (3% each); and Malibu and ZENN (2%each). Other mentions, at one percent each, include Insight, Lexus, Accord,

    Yaris, Tesla, Highlander, Roadster and Tahoe. A number of respondents couldname a maker e. . To ota Honda Ford GM but not an individual model.

    Ford (unspecified) 2

    Malibu 2

    GM (unspecified) 2

    ZENN 2

    In general, the ability to name any vehicle make or model is highest amongmen, and increases proportionately along with level of education andhousehold income. Naming an electric vehicle is highest among youngerCanadians (aged 18 to 29) and decreases with age.

    Other individual vehicles (1% or less each) 12

    Other mentions 4

    Dont know 49

    There is a link between being able to name an electric vehicle and drivinghabits: it is highest among those with multiple-vehicle households, those withlonger/higher speed commutes, and, as expected, those with some personalexperience with hybrids and those who are very familiar with EVT.

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics15

    Subgroups: Canadians who saw or heard something about electric vehicles (n=1,726)Table may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions

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    Familiarity with hybrid vehicles

    The majority of Canadian drivers are aware of hybrid vehicles; familiarity is almost universal among

    men and younger drivers.

    % familiar with hybrid vehicles




    Those whose current vehicle is not a hybrid (i.e., 97% of Canadians who ownor have regular access to a vehicle) were asked if they are familiar with what

    are called hybrid vehicles (these were briefly described). Over eight in ten(84%) say they have heard of hybrids. Awareness is somewhat lower inQuebec (74%) than elsewhere in the country.


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    Reasons for considering buying a hybrid

    Those who have considered buying a hybr id 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.

    (n=657) Canadian drivers who say they have considered purchasing a hybrid wereWhy considered buying a hybrid %

    Green/environmentally-friendly 30

    Fuel efficiency/reduced fuel consumption 26

    asked, without prompting, what made them consider it. The mostmentioned reasons are the green factor/environmental-friendliness (30%),

    followed closely by fuel efficiency (26%) and cost savings (24%). Fewerthan one in ten each cite other individual factors, such as lower emissions,preferred auto makers, efficiency and general desirability. A small number

    Less emissions/pollution/clean air 7

    Cost/prices/expensive 6

    Auto maker mentions 2

    ,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 andclean air as reasons for thinking about getting a hybrid. Women are more

    Efficiency (general) 1

    Desirable/exciting/interesting 1

    Misc. negative/barriers 2

    ey an men o men on e greenenvronmena ene s, w e menare more likely to refer to the cost savings. Cost savings is mentioned byhigher proportions of those with a greater level of self-professed familiaritywith EVT than by those less familiar with this technology.


    Dont know 1

    Subgroup: Canadian drivers who have considered purchasing a hybridTable may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics18

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    Barriers to purchasing hybrids

    High purchase price is the major obstacle toCanadians considering a hybrid as their next


    Why have not considered buying a hybrid %

    Expensive/cost/prices 46

    Not currently interested in buying a new vehicle 10

    Not for me 4

    Not available 3

    Experimental/needs more work 3

    Canadian drivers who say they have not considered purchasing ahybrid were asked, without prompting, why this is the case. Theleading top-of-mind barrier is the cost of the vehicle, mentioned byclose to half. Far fewer mention any other reason. One in ten aresimply not considering a vehicle purchase at this time, and a similar

    Small vehicle size 3

    Vehicle power 2

    Did not occur to me 2

    proportion (8%) indicate they do not have enough informationabout hybrids to consider one. A number mention other perceiveddrawbacks to hybrids, such as their small size, low power, and

    concerns about reliability, driving distance, battery life/charging andsafety. A small number also mention some perceived advantages,e a yper ormance concerns

    Driving distance concerns 2

    Battery life/charging concerns 1

    Safety concerns 1

    suc as eng economca, ue-e cen , an ea or c y rvng.

    The expense of purchasing a hybrid is the leading barrier across allsubgroups. City dwellers and women are the most likely to say theyare not considering purchasing any new vehicle. Women and those

    with lower levels of education are the most apt to mention a lack ofMisc. positive mentions/advantages 2

    Misc. negative mentions/barriers 1

    Dont know/not stated 6

    information about hybrids. There are no differences between thosewith more self-assessed familiarity with EVT and those less familiarwith this technology.

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics19

    u group: ana an rvers w o ave no cons ere purc asng a y r

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    Reasons for having bought a hybrid

    Current hybr id owners are most likely to cite the green/environmental aspect as the main reason they

    purchased their hybrid, but fuel efficiency and cost savings are also key.

    (n=46) The small sample (n=46) of Canadian drivers who indicated that theyWhy purchased a hybrid %

    Green/environmentally-friendly 29

    Cost savings/economy 16

    currently own a hybrid were asked, without prompting, what was themain reason they purchased this type of vehicle (the base of

    respondents is small, so caution is required in interpreting the resultsand subgroup analysis is not advisable).

    The reasons cited for having bought a hybrid closely match the

    Cost/prices (general) 5

    Less emissions/pollution/clear air 4

    Desirable/exciting/interesting 1

    reasons why Canadians would consider purchasing one, with currentowners being most likely to mention environmental-friendliness,followed by fuel efficiency and cost savings.


    Other 21

    Dont know/not stated 8

    Subgroup: Canadian hybrid vehicle owners

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics20

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    Types of hybrids available to buy today

    Canadians are confused about what types of hybrid vehicles are available for purchase today. Only

    about half identify the current technology as being available, and many think that the other

    technologies are available now.

    Hybrid 54

    Canadians who are aware of hybrids were shown descriptions of threetypes of hybrids and asked to indicate which of these are currently

    available to purchase today. The results indicate that some confusionexists on this point. About half (54%) each think that two types areavailable: the standard type of hybrid (gasoline-powered vehicle with an

    % saying each type of hybr id is available today

    Batter electric vehicle BEV

    Plug-in hybridelectric vehicle (PHEV)



    aux ary eec rc moor an e pug-n y r or , a runs on abattery-powered motor rechargeable by plugging into a standard outlet,which are not yet commercially available). Four in ten (41%) think thatbattery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) are available for purchase now.

    For all three types, men are more likely than women to say they are


    available today. Agreement that all three are available now is highestamong those are those who claim to have the most familiarity with EVT,and decreases as familiarity with EVT lessens.

    Belief that BEVs are available today is also higher among those with the

    lowest household incomes, those with long-range higher-speed daily

    Subgroup: Canadian drivers aware of hybrids (n=1,737)

    commutes, and those who profess some experience (first- or second-hand) with hybrids. Agreeing that standard hybrids are available is highestamong those with post-secondary education, household incomes over$40,000, and those who drive 11 or more kilometres per day.

    There are no notable differences b drivin behaviour or socio-economic

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics21

    status in perceptions about the type of EVs that are currently available.

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    Advantages of hybrids

    Canadians are most likely to see fuel efficiency, cost savings and reduced emissions as the

    advantages hybrids offer over conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

    Advantages o f hybrids over

    gas-powered vehicles



    Fuel efficiency/reduced fuel consumption 25

    Cost savings/economy 17

    ana ans w o are aware o y r s were as e , unprompe , nwhat ways current hybrid vehicles offer an advantage over

    conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. Two-thirds offer anopinion, most often about how fuel-efficient they are (25%), aboutthe resulting cost savings (17%), and how they emit fewer


    Less emissions/pollution/clean air 15

    Green/environmentally-friendly 11

    Quiet 1

    .friendly (11%). Few note any other advantages.

    Mentions of fuel efficiency/reduced fuel consumption are consistentacross the country except in Quebec, where they are somewhatless noted (19%). Men are more likely to mention fuel efficiency

    Efficient (general) 1

    Option to use both sources of energy 1

    Other mentions 2

    Cannot sa 34

    , ,likely than older Canadians to mention their being environmentally-friendly.

    Mentions of fuel efficiency increase along with level of educationand are also higher among those who have a daily commute than

    Q26Subgroup: Canadian drivers aware of hybridsTable may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions

    ose w o o no , as we as amon ose w some personaexperience with hybrids and those who are most familiar with EVT.

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics22

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    Limitations of hybrids

    Canadians have no strong impressions of the limitations of hybrid vehicles, but are most apt to

    express concerns about limited driving distance, power, charging issues and high purchase cost.

    Limitations of hybrids over

    gas-powered vehicles



    Driving distance concerns 13

    Expensive/cost/price 11

    ana ans w o are aware o y r s were aso as e , unprompe ,in what ways current hybrid vehicles are more limited than

    conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. About half offer somecomment, but these are widely varied with no strong impressionsemerging. The perceived limitations expressed are similar to the

    Vehicle power 9

    Battery life/charging concerns 9

    Slow driving speeds 6

    ,charging and reliability concerns, being expensive, low power, slowspeeds and small size. Other than cost, these concerns suggestthat many who have heard of hybrids may be confusing this

    technology with that of BEVs.

    Small vehicle size 2

    Repair/maintenance/knowledge required 1

    Reliability/performance concerns 1

    Lack of vehicle selection 1

    ,more likely to mention concerns about driving distance, expenseand power limitations. Younger Canadians are the most concernedabout vehicle power; older ones are the most likely to mentiondriving distance and battery charging concerns. There are no

    notable differences b drivin habits or ersonal ex erience with

    Cold temperature performance 1

    Other comments 2

    Cannot say 48

    hybrids, except that those with the greatest self-professedfamiliarity with EVT are the most likely to mention hybrids beingexpensive.

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics23

    Q27Subgroup: Canadian drivers aware of hybridsTable may not add to 100% due to multiple mentions

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    Plug-in hybrid electric

    vehicles (PHEVs)

    Considerations in purchasing a PHEV

    Interest in PHEVs

    Barriers to purchasing a PHEV

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics

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    Interest in purchasing or leasing a PHEV


    x n en ana ans express a eas mo es n eres n purc as ng a n e u ure.

    % interested in purchasing/leasing a PHEV when they become available








    Very interested

    Somewhat interested

    oa g sc ooor less

    o egesome


    os -secondary Q28

    Canadians (including those who are not licensed drivers) were shown a brief description of current hybrids and then a description of PHEVs, 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 ofears. Interest is moderatel stron with six in ten sa in the are either ver 16% or somewhat 44% interested. Of the remainin 40 ercent

    17 percent are not very interested and eight percent are not at all interested; eight percent have no plan to purchase any vehicle in the future,and seven percent cannot say. Among those with a drivers license, 62 percent are interested (17% very, 45% somewhat), compared to 48percent (13% very, 35% somewhat) of those who currently are not licensed.

    Interest in PHEVs is uniform across the country, but there are some subgroup differences to note. Strong interest is highest among city dwellers

    - - -, , . ,18% of those aged 30 to 44, vs. 13% of those aged 45 and over). Being very interested in PHEVs also increases with level of education and ishighest among those at the post-secondary level (23%). Strong interest is not linked to income, but being somewhat interested does increaseproportionately with household income. Those with high school or less education have the lowest level of interest overall; thosewith the lowesthousehold incomes are the most likely not to be planning to buy a vehicle at all. Strong interest in PHEVs is expressed to a greater degree bythose typically carrying two or more passengers, those with previous experience with hybrids, and those with higher levels of familiarity with EVT.

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    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics25

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    Interest in renting a PHEV

    The majori ty of Canadians would be at least somewhat interested in dr iving a PHEV as a rental car,

    but only two in ten are definitely interested.

    Canadians were asked to indicate their level of interest in driving a plug-in% interested in renting a PHEV

    City centre

    Total 20 40

    24 41

    hybrid as a rental car. Six in ten would be at least somewhat interested (61%of those with a license, vs. 52% of those currently not licensed), with one in

    ten (20%) indicating strong interest. Of the remaining, 17 percent are notvery interested, 15 percent are not at all interested, and nine percent cannotsay.



    Suburb 20 40

    16 41

    14 32

    Interest in renting a PHEV is highest in Ontario and among those living incity centres; interest decreases along with a decrease in community size.Similar to purchasing a PHEV, men are somewhat more likely to be very

    interested (23% vs. 18% of women), as are those with post-secondaryeducation. Interest is highest among those under age 30 and decreases as

    Very interested Somewhat interested


    age ncreases. rong neres s g es among ose w some usnessuse of their vehicle, long-range commuters, those who carry multiplepassengers, those with some previous experience with hybrids and thoseclaiming to have greater familiarity with EVT.

    While there is a strong link between being interested in purchasing a PHEVand being interested in renting one, there is evidence that having suchvehicles in rental fleets will give other drivers an opportunity to experiencethe technology: close to half (47%) of those who are not very interested inpurchasing a PHEV, and three in ten (30%) of those not at all interested,would be at least somewhat interested in renting one.

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    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics26

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    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.

    % who drive to work/school who have access to an electrical outlet



    1915 15

    Subgroup : Canadians who own a vehiclewho drive to work or school (n=1,001)

    Q35Total West Ontario Quebec East

    In addition to asking about electrical outlets near the home that could be used to recharge a plug-in hybrid, those owning a

    vehicle who drive that vehicle to work or school (62%, or n=1,001) were also asked about access to an outlet at thoselocations. Only one-quarter of those who drive to work or school say they have an available outlet. This is considerably higherin the west o anada 41 , where it is more common or such locations to o er outlets or block heaters in the winter. Inaddition, participants in the Vancouver focus group sessions were much more likely than those in Toronto and Montreal toreport access to outlets at work or school. Availability of an outlet at work or school is also more reported by men (30%, vs.20% of women), which may reflect parking availability by occupation, and by those under age 30 (31%), which may reflectaccess to school parking.

    Driving to work or school is most reported by men (66%, vs. 58% of women), those aged 30 to 44 (80%), and those with higherlevels of education and household income. It is also most common among those living in multi-vehicle (3+) households, thosewith at least some business use of their vehicle (89%), and of course those indicating they have daily commutes and highernumber of kilometres driven each day. Driving to work or school is also linked to having some experience with hybrids andgreater self-assessed familiarity with EVT.

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    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics30

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    Price considerations in PHEV purchase

    Seven in ten Canadians with at least some interest in PHEVs would be wil ling to pay a five percent

    premium to purchase or lease one.

    % willing to pay premium73




    Those with at least some interest in obtaining a PHEV when they become available where asked about their willingness to payseveral levels of premium to purchase or lease this type of vehicle. Just over one-quarter (27%) are unwilling to pay a five-

    Subgroup : Canadians at least somewhatinterested in PHEVs (n=1,190)Willing to pay

    at least 5%Willing to payat least 10%

    Willing to payat least 15%

    Willing to payup to 20%

    , . -percent premium. Seven percent would pay as much as a 20-percent premium for a PHEV.

    Those willing to pay higher premiums for PHEVs are younger (under age 45), live in cities or the suburbs, and have someprevious first- or second-hand experience with hybrids. Not being willing to pay even a five-percent premium is higher amongthose aged 45 to 59.

    Having greater self-assessed familiarity with EVT has a mixed effect on willingness to pay premiums. Those claiming to bemost 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 payeven five percent.

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    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics31

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    Batter -electric vehicles

    (BEVs)Perceptions of BEVs

    Environmental advanta es of BEVs

    Barriers to purchasing a BEV

    Canadians Perceptions of

    Electric Vehicle Technology Environics

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    Environmental advantage of BEVs

    Most participants saw an environmental advantage to BEVs, but the extent of this advantage was

    often questioned.

    In addition to being cheaper to operate (but more expensive to purchase), participants also generally felt that BEVs would beuieter and reener than conventional vehicles. Partici ants enerall saw two elements to the BEVs environmental

    Well, it doesntburn gas, so, its

    benefits. The first was fewer emissions. Even those participants who did not immediately understand that there would be notailpipe emissions (and no tailpipe!) in a BEV still felt it would pollute less than a conventional vehicle. Most participants also

    saw an environmental benefit to the fact that the BEV does not require gasoline.

    gotta be cleaner,right?

    , ,also questioned the real extent of the environmental benefit. There were two major issues. The first was associated withhow the electricity used to power the vehicle was itself generated. A number of participants noted that, to the extent thatelectricity was generated from dirty sources like coal, this reduced the environmental benefit of BEVs. The other issue

    was the battery. A number of participants felt that the battery was very environmentally-unfriendly, and that bothmanufacture and es eciall dis osal of these batteries mi ht cause environmental harm.

    I think I alreadyheard that thesebatteries can hurtthe environment

    when you disposeof them.

    Although these perceptions were heard in all focus groups, most participants agreed that, overall, the BEV was probablya more environmentally-friendly from of transportation than the standard gasoline-powered vehicle. What was generallyunknown was the extent of this benefit was the BEV much cleaner than a gasoline-powered vehicle, or only somewhat

    I dont know whenyou factor everythingin, Im not sure iftheres much

    ceaner vbenefit].

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    Barriers to purchasing a BEV (continued)

    In addition to the specific concerns described previously, there was a sense (best articulated in the Vancouver male group), thatowning a BEV would require a complete change in your orientation towards your vehicle. Basically, owning a BEV would

    Vehicle range, recharge time and availabili ty of plug-in locations are key barriers to BEVs.

    Any bit of loveaffair with your

    remove an mportant eement o spontanety t at s currenty part o ve ce owners p. g t now accor ng to t s vew ,you want to jump in your car and go anywhere, you can. With a BEV, you would have to plan every trip in advance, to ensureyou are fully charged, that you can recharge along the way if necessary, and so on.

    ,Today I want togo for a long

    drive; that wouldbe gone.

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    Vehicle typee ype o ve c e curren y r ven s no a ma or ac or n w e er a r ver w e recep ve o

    EVT in the future.



    75 Trucks


    9 SUVs



    Mid-size 25

    Compact 21

    Minivan 12


    Full-size 6

    Compact 3


    Mid-size 7

    Compact 4

    Large/luxury 3

    Sub-compact 4

    Sports 3

    Luxury 2

    (Other types include crossovers and motorcycles)

    Hybrid %

    Yes 3 Hybrid type



    Q4,5 No 97Full-size car 20

    Mid-size car 19

    Sub/compact car 17

    Subgroup : Canadian drivers withaccess to a vehicle (n=1,708)

    The majority of Canadians currently drive a car (versus a truck or SUV) and that car is most likelyto be a small or mid-size one.

    Truck/minivan 13

    Sports/luxury car 7

    There are few notable differences in receptivity to electric vehicles by the type of vehicle currentlydriven. The only difference is in strong interest in renting a PHEV in the future, which is highestamong those currently driving a midsize or luxury car or luxury SUV. These drivers of somewhatlarger or less fuel-efficient vehicles may see an advantage to having at least temporary access toa PHEV on specific occasions, whether out of curiosity or for some practical reason.

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    Vehicle use profileose w o yp ca y carry wo or more passengers ex somew a more n eres n an

    drivers who carry fewer passengers.

    Vehicle used to tow %Number Max number

    Yes 12

    No 88






    0 37 10

    1 39 11 Cargo room

    2 16 11

    3 or more 9 68

    nee e

    Very little 23

    Moderate amount 62

    A lot 15Subgroup : Canadian drivers withaccess to a vehicle (n=1,708)

    a , ,

    Canadian drivers typically carry one or no passengers, but most believe they need room for three or more. It is interesting and perhapscounterintuitive to note that drivers who normally carry two or more passengers are more likely than those who carry no passengers tobe very interested in buying or renting a PHEV in the future. This is likely because they are more apt than others to be drivinga larger


    There is not much difference in receptivity to electric vehicles by whether the current vehicle is used for towing or by how much cargoroom is needed, except that those who have to tow are somewhat more likely to be very interested in renting a PHEV than those whodo not tow. The need to tow suggests that, while they normally require a larger vehicle, access to a small, more efficient vehicle mightbe desired on occasion for specific purposes.

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    Size of vehicle as purchase decision (trade-off)ana an r vers w o c oose e sma es ve c e o mee e r nee s are more e y an o ers o

    have previously considered a hybrid, but both types are equally open to a future PHEV purchase.

    Basis for vehicle choice





    Largest you

    could afford

    Smallest that

    fits needs

    23 Men



    Subgroup : Canadian drivers withaccess to a vehicle (n=1,708)

    - ,a smaller or larger vehicle. Canadian drivers were asked which of two statements best describes their approach to choosing the type ofvehicle they drive. A strong majority (seven in ten) indicate their approach is to choose the smallest vehicle to fit their needs, while three inten say their choice is the largest vehicle they can afford. These results are quite consistent across the country.

    As can be expected, choice of vehicle size is linked to the type of vehicle normally driven, with almost all drivers of compact and sub-compact

    cars sayng ey c ose e sma es o mee er nee s, an rvers o u -sze cars, vans or pc -ups, uxury cars, arge an uxury sbeing the most likely to say they chose the largest affordable. Selecting the largest affordable vehicle is highest among men (36% vs. 23% ofwomen), to those living in a suburban location (34%, vs. 27% in smaller or larger communities), to those driving more than 30kmper day,and to those normally carrying two or more passengers. Choosing a larger vehicle increases somewhat as household income increases.

    Familiarity with electric vehicles or hybrids is similar among these two groups, but having previously considered

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    . ,

    equally likely to be very interested in purchasing or in renting a PHEV in the future.

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    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.

    Reliability 87 12Drivers were asked to indicate the level of importancethe assi n to each of a list of vehicle characteristics. In

    Importance of vehicle characteristics

    Expected operating costs

    Fuel efficiency

    Purchase/lease price

    Safety/crash protection 70 27

    70 25

    69 29

    51 42

    this prompted list, reliability is deemed most important.The next three factors, all rated very important by seven

    in ten, are safety, price and fuel efficiency. Half ofdrivers also feel that operating costs, reputation andemissions/pollution are important when selecting a

    Vehicle size

    Fuel type

    Vehicle emissions/pollution

    epua on o ma emo e

    49 43

    40 42

    39 49

    ve ce; a out our n ten eac pace strong mportanceon fuel type and vehicle size. Trade-in value and vehiclepower are the least important.

    Familiarity with hybrids is quite uniform by most driverand vehicle profile factors; an exception, however, is


    Expected trade-in value

    24 42

    Somewhat important

    Subgroup : Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle (n=1,708)

    that such familiarity is lower among those who say thatpurchase or lease price is not very or at all important,and among those for whom reliability is not at allimportant.

    As might be expected, belief that fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions are important is linked to a heightened interest in EVT. Drivers who saythat fuel efficiency or vehicle emissions/pollution are very important factors are the most likely to have considered buying a hybrid in the past,or to be very interested in buying or renting a PHEV in the future. Being very interested in purchasing a PHEV when they become available isalso somewhat higher among those who think that safety and crash protection, expected trade-in value and fuel type are very importantfactors, and those who say that purchase price is not very or at all important to them. There is a moderate connection to importance ofexpected operating costs in being very interested in buying or in renting a PHEV.

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    Attitudes about vehicle choiceew r vers are s rong y nc ne o e ren se ers w en comes o ve c e es gn or ype, u

    these consumers are among the most likely to be open to electric vehicles.

    Att itudes about vehic le choices

    Drivers were asked their level of agreement with several statementsabout vehicle selection. They are most likely to agree, either strongly

    (13%) or somewhat (44%), with being prepared to pay more for anenvironmentally-friendly product. Only about three in ten each agree(less than one in ten strongly) that they are willing to pay more for a

    Willing to pay morefor different design/style

    Prepared to pay more forenvironmentally-friendly product

    13 44

    7 25

    buy, or that they are willing to experiment with buying new vehiclesbefore they become mainstream. A similarly small proportion identifythem-selves as a vehicle information source for friends and family.

    Interest in electric vehicles is highest among those drivers who are

    Willing to experiment withnew types of vehicles

    Family/friends come to me foradvice on what vehicle best to buy

    7 24

    6 26


    , w wfour statements. They are the most likely to have consideredpurchasing a hybrid in the past or to be very interested in purchasingor renting a PHEV in the future. Interest declines and is lowest amongthose who strongly disagree with these attitudinal statements.

    Strongly agree Somewhat agree

    Subgroup : Canadian drivers with access to a vehicle (n=1,708)

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    Appendix A:

    Study Methodology

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    Survey administration

    The survey was conducted by Environics using a secure, fully featured web-based survey environment:

    Environics programmed the questionnaire into survey software and hosted the survey on a secure server. Pollution Probe was provided

    with a beta test link to review the survey on-line for final approval.

    Invitation e-mails, which included the URL link to the survey and a unique password, were sent to selected panellists Technical supportwas provided to survey respondents as required. Steps were taken to assure (and also guarantee) complete confidentiality and anonymity


    Environics electronically captured all survey responses as they were submitted, and created an electronic data file that was coded and

    analyzed (including open-ended responses).Assigning a unique identifier (password) to each respondent ensured that only one version of the survey was accepted per respondent.The unique identifier permitted respondents to return to the survey if interrupted during completion. Each time the respondent entered thesurvey, it opened at the point where they left off. The on-line form did not permit moving backwards through the survey, so that earlierresponses were not altered after reading later questions.

    The survey was officially registered with the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA). This registration system permits

    potential participants to verify the legitimacy of a survey, inform themselves about the industry and/or register a complaint.


    The survey data were weighted to the population of Canadians 18 years of age and over, by gender, age and region, using 2006 Censusdata.

    # %

    Broadcast e-mails sent 28,287 100

    Completion results

    - ,Of opened e-mails: 3,045 100

    Incompletes/dropped off/panel transfer issue 834 27Quota full 124 4Completed surveys 2,001 66

    .The completion rate was 66% of opened e-mails.

    Canadians Perceptions of

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    Qualitative methodology

    Number and location of focus groups

    In total, six (6) focus groups were held, two in each of three locations:

    1. Toronto (February 9, 2009),

    2. Montreal (February 11), and

    3. Vancouver (February 12)

    In each location, one session was held with females and one with males.

    Participant selection

    Participants were selected from among the general public to meet the following criteria:

    1.All participants owned, leased or had regular access to a vehicle.

    2.A range of daily driving distances were represented (10km, 11-30km and more than 30km).

    3. Commuters and non-commuters were represented.

    . ose w o use er ve ces or persona an or a mx o persona usness use were represene .

    5. Current hybrid owners and self-professed experts on hybrid technology were excluded.

    6. 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, with input from Pollution Probe and its partners.A copy of the discussion guide is shown in Appendix C.

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    Appendix C:

    Discussion Guide

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