New survey finds high gas prices driving more buyers to consider electric cars

With gas prices hovering at about $1.70 a litre for regular fuel more drivers are ready to think about buying an electric car.

“There is a direct correlation between an increase in gas prices and interest in electric vehicles,” said Baris Akyurek, the Director of Marketing Intelligence with Autrotrader.ca.

The automotive website conducted a survey and found an 89 per cent increase in electric vehicle searches over last year and 68 per cent of drivers who don’t own an electric vehicle say they are considering one for their next purchase.

From electric sedans to SUVs to pick-up trucks, most manufacturers now offer an electric vehicle option.

“If you think about it there were only a handful of brands that were prominent in this (electric vehicle) space but now more of them are coming out with EV offerings,” said Akyurek.

While there have been concerns over battery life, range issues and cold weather in Canada, most EV’s have shown improvements year after year.

“There is no going back as once you’ve gone electric you’ll never want to go back,” said Don Millar, with the London chapter of the Electric Vehicle Society of Canada.

Millar said his Tesla EV saves him about $2,000 a year in fuel, there are virtually no maintenance costs and he enjoys a smoother, quieter ride.

“It’s basically windshield wipers and windshield wiper fluid the first few years, that’s it,” said Millar.

The federal government announced in it’s latest budget it will extend it’s rebate program which provides up to $5,000 towards an electric car.

Quebec also offers up to $8,000 in provincial rebates while British Columbia offers up to an additional $3,000 in rebates towards the purchase of an EV.

Millar said that Ontario should consider bringing back it’s EV rebate program.

“We are hoping the province of Ontario will have rebates as well which will make it more cost effective to buy an EV,” said Millar.

The survey found searches for electric vehicles have translated into sales with dealerships moving more electric vehicles out the door.

Another concern for drivers considering an electric car is charging it when they’re away from home. In the federal budget presented on April 7, 2022 the government committed to spending about 900 million dollars to build charging stations across the country.

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