Pollution Probe Releases Report on Consumer EV Charging Experience in Canada
Pollution Probe has released the results from a national survey of electric vehicle (EV) owners looking at real-world charging experiences of Canadian EV owners.
The survey received responses from more than 1,600 EV owners drawn from every province. Results were categorized into four key areas: charging behaviour, network coverage satisfaction, network service satisfaction, and network payment systems.
An adequate public charging network is frequently cited as one of the most important factors in accelerating EV adoption. Not only does public charging make long-distance travel in EVs more convenient, but it makes the prospect of EV ownership more feasible for Canadians who live in high-rise buildings or homes that lack a dedicated parking space that can accommodate a charging station. Not surprisingly, one of the key findings of the study is that EV owners residing in high-rises rely much more on public charging than those in single family homes. Over 40 per cent of respondents in high-rise buildings indicated that more than half of their charging needs are addressed using public charging stations.
While the installation of public EV chargers continues to accelerate thanks to the efforts of both government and industry, right now most Canadian EV owners think that the existing number of public chargers is insufficient. While Canadian EV owners’ location preference for the slower level 2 charging stations is varied, preference for DC fast chargers is more concentrated at highway rest stops and urban retail centres. Another key finding is that EV owners are very interested in demand management methods, such as smart charging and vehicle-to-grid charging, that could reduce their charging costs. These methods can be leveraged by utilities to avoid stressing local grids as more EVs come online.
As of 2021 EVs comprised almost six per cent of new passenger car sales in Canada – but the EV market is just getting warmed up. Canada has set mandatory ZEV sales targets of at least 20 per cent of new passenger vehicle sales by 2026, 60 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035. Regular assessments similar to this one will need to be led in the coming years so government policy and industry practice can efficiently address the needs and expectations of the next generation of Canadian drivers.
“Findings highlight mixed attitudes and behaviours from Canadian EV owners depending on the type and age of EV owned, their location in Canada, household type, travel patterns, and charging networks used. This pioneering work is an important start in terms of aligning consumer expectations around the convenience of EV use with public charging infrastructure availability across Canada,” said Christopher Hilkene, CEO, Pollution Probe.
A copy of the report from Pollution Probe can be found here.