Electric car buyers are fine with paying a premium

According to EY, there has been a rapid change in how much price impacts purchase intent.

According to the latest figures, 80% of would-be Canadian electric car buyers are willing to pay a little bit more for their ideal vehicle.

The latest EY Mobility Consumer Index included 1,000 Canadian respondents among the 13,000 polled across 18 countries, and also found that the number of Canadians looking to buy EVs in 2022 has hit its highest level yet.

According to the Index, 46% of respondents planning to buy a car are choosing an EV, up 11% per cent from 2021, overindexing in B.C. (54% purchase intent) and Quebec (51%), while underindexing in the Prairies (25%).

Interest in Canada tops EV purchase sentiment in places like the U.S. (29%) and Australia (38%), while still lagging the global average (52%).

Pricing, according to EY numbers, is far less a concern from 2021 figures: 38% of respondents worry about upfront electric vehicle pricing, down from 66% a year ago.

“The speed of this change has been eye-opening,” explains Jennifer Rogers, automotive leader at EY Canada.

The EY figures reveal 36% of respondents list lack of charging stations as a rising concern preventing an EV purchase. In fact, Canada only has a total of 7,108 public charging stations, 44% of which are in one market, Quebec. By comparison, China added nearly 250,000 public chargers in 2021 alone. 

“As cost becomes less of a factor and more Canadians seriously consider EVs as their next vehicle purchase, it’s important that our charging infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities adjust in the face of this demand,” Rogers explains.

She adds that the findings mark a market tipping point for the sector because, despite the drop in consumer travel over the past two years, preferences for EV ownership is growing robustly. Environmental preferences are increasing while costs are lowering, creating a ripe opportunity for consumers looking to make a purchase, Rogers notes.

The biggest motivators are twofold: 38% say environment is the top motivator influencing an EV purchase, whilst 37% say it’s the rising costs associated with traditional combustion engines.

As reported in strategy, it’s difficult to predict which electric vehicles will prove most popular with consumers, with so many models arriving at once, making differentiating between them challenging.

EVs came to life in a big way during this year’s Super Bowl, particularly a spot for Chevrolet that  reproduced the opening shot sequence of The Soprano’s. Meanwhile, competitors GM, Hyundai, BMW and Nissan leaned heavily on celebrities.