Half of Drivers in British Columbia Are Considering Electric Vehicles

Seven-in-ten residents agree with the goal of making all light-duty cars and trucks sold in the province “zero emission” by 2040.

Vancouver, BC [May 31, 2019] – A significant proportion of car drivers in British Columbia would consider acquiring a “zero emission” vehicle in the future, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 51% of British Columbians who drive their own vehicles say it is “very likely” or “moderately likely” that the next vehicle they acquire for themselves or their household will be electric.

Majorities of drivers in Metro Vancouver (55%) and Vancouver Island (52%) are likely to consider a “zero emission” vehicle as their next purchase. The proportion is lower in the Fraser Valley (43%), Southern BC (40%) and Northern BC (37%)

When asked about specific issues that might make them less likely to purchase an electric vehicle, 24% of drivers say that they are too expensive when compared to non-electric vehicles, 24% fear becoming stranded if they cannot find a charging station, and 23% say they do not have enough places to charge the vehicle in the areas where they usually drive.

“There are some significant regional differences when the concerns of potential electric vehicle owners are analyzed,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “More than a third of drivers who reside in Southern BC (35%) and Northern BC (45%) claim they lack places to charge electric vehicles, compared to just 20% among those who live in Metro Vancouver.”

Earlier this year, the Government of British Columbia passed legislation to ensure that, by the year 2040, all light-duty cars and trucks sold in the province will be “zero emission.” Seven-in-ten residents (70%) agree with this decision, while 21% disagree and 10% are undecided.

Almost half of British Columbians (49%) believe the goal established by the provincial government on “zero emission” vehicles is “achievable”, while 42% think it is “not achievable.”


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 20 to May 22, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca