British Columbians’ interest in EVs dropping: survey

British Columbians are becoming less keen on going electric for their next vehicle, a new survey finds.

The survey, conducted by AutoTrader, reports that interest in electric vehicles is dropping year-by-year nation-wide.

Since 2022, the number of Canadian survey respondents who said they would consider an EV for their next vehicle has dropped to 46 per cent — down 22 per cent from two years earlier.

By province, B.C. saw the lowest drop in interest with a three per cent dip from 2023 to 57 per cent. Meanwhile, Ontario saw the highest decrease in interest with an 18 per cent drop down to 41 per cent from the year before.

Baris Akyurek, vice president of insights and intelligence at, says the top three reasons people are losing interest in EVs are limited travel range, not enough charging stations and higher purchasing costs.

In their third year running the survey, Akyurek says he’s not surprised to see the decline given the current economic situation.

“Right now, we are going through these financially sensitive times… so everyone is a bit tighter when it comes to their financials.”

Akyurek says as part of the survey, AutoTrader also compared the prices of the vehicles that come in the exact same make and model, but with the choice of electric or internal combustion engine.

They found that for the exact same vehicle, there’s a 15 to 20 per cent price difference between the cost of the traditional gas vehicle and an electric one.

“So, that’s obviously a pretty big difference,” he said.

Financial differences aside, Akyurek says more than 70 per cent of consumers reported being doubtful about the feasibility of the government’s emissions targets.

However, that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t interested in going at least part of the way electric, he adds.

Akyurek says compared to 2023’s numbers, more consumers are showing interest in hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

“The happy medium, in this case, is hybrids and plug-in hybrids,” he said.

He adds 63 per cent of respondents reported the need for better charging infrastructure to be in place before the province’s or country’s EV targets can be met.

“Charging infrastructure is something that needs to be figured out relatively soon because consumers are concerned.”

Eight per cent of consumers also reported wanting to learn more about batteries, in terms of replacement costs and range.

“It seems like cost is a big obstacle,” he said.

In terms of the benefits of going electric, Akyurek says he thinks advantages like environmental friendliness and low maintenance will become more appealing to consumers as EV prices lower and infrastructure increases.

“Once these things begin to resolve, I think we’re going to see an uptick in demand over time,” he said.

The Canada-wide survey received more than 1,600 responses.

With files from Maria Vinca.