New data show that nearly half of Canadians are ready to purchase more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles.
In a nationwide survey, Kanetix.ca polled 3,769 people and found that 48.7 per cent of respondents would consider buying a hybrid or electric model for their next vehicle.
Estimates indicate that the average Canadian could save up to $2,000 in fuel costs annually and reduce their carbon footprint on the road by 90% if they switched to an electric vehicle (EV) or a hybrid.
Albertans were found to be the least likely to make the switch at 44.9 per cent, while 64.5 per cent of Nova Scotians said they would consider buying a greener vehicle, putting them ahead of every other province.
British Columbia is the only province that currently offers a purchase incentive to consumers for EVs and hybrid vehicles. With 1,700 EVs and hybrids already on BC roads, the provincial government hopes to double that number after recently reintroducing their Clean Energy Vehicle program.
Additionally, BC was the only province in the survey where more respondents (54.9 per cent) said they would switch to a green vehicle than purchase a traditional gas vehicle.
Ontario and Quebec each saw 45 per cent of respondents express interest in switching over to an EV or hybrid, both provinces offering similar incentives, including cash-back rebates on the purchase or lease of such vehicles and improvements to infrastructure.
The survey identified a number of factors preventing faster growth in the EV and hybrid vehicle market.
There is a lack of consumer knowledge about the new vehicles, resulting in uncertainty about their safety.
The results also reveal consumer anxiety about driving battery-powered vehicles without the backup of a gas tank, though the average EV has a range of 100-120 kilometres on a single charge, according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.