Little Momentum as British Columbia Drivers Ponder Electric Cars

Residents of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are more likely to say that their next vehicle will be electric.

Vancouver, BC [June 1, 2021] – Over the past two years, there has been a negligible increase in the proportion of drivers in British Columbia who acknowledge that their next car will probably be electric, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 53% of British Columbians who drive their own cars say it is “very likely” or “moderately likely” that the next vehicle they acquire for themselves or their household will be electric, up two points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in May 2019.

Male drivers are more likely to lean towards acquiring an electric vehicle (56%) than their female counterparts (51%). Three-in-five drivers aged 35-to-54 (60%) are likely to buy an electric vehicle, along with 57% of those aged 18-to-34 and 47% of those aged 55 and over.

Drivers who voted for the BC Green Party in last year’s provincial election are more likely to be seriously considering an electric vehicle (66%) than those who cast ballots for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (56%) or the BC Liberals (51%).

“There are some major regional differences when it comes to the appetite of drivers in British Columbia for electric vehicles,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While 59% of those who reside in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley foresee their next vehicle being electric, fewer feel the same way in Southern BC (42%), Vancouver Island (also 42%) and Northern BC (41%).”

More than a quarter of drivers in British Columbia say they are less likely to purchase an electric vehicle because they are too expensive when compared to non-electric options (27%, +3) and because they fear becoming stranded if they cannot find a charging station (also 27%, +3).

More than one-in-five drivers are also worried about not having enough places to charge the vehicle in the areas where they usually drive (23%, -2) and not having a place to charge the vehicle where they currently live (22%, +2). Only 6% of drivers (-1) are deterred by the “feel” of the vehicle compared with a non-electric option.

While only 22% of drivers who reside in the Fraser Valley say that a perceived lack of charging stations would make them less likely to purchase an electric vehicle in the future, the proportion rises to 24% in Metro Vancouver, 25% in Vancouver Island, 28% in Southern BC and 35% in Northern BC.

The Government of British Columbia has passed legislation to ensure that, by the year 2040, all light-duty cars and trucks sold in the province will be “zero emission.” As was the case in 2019, 70% of residents are in favour of this decision.

A majority of British Columbians (51%, +2) think the goal established by the provincial government on the issue of “zero emission” vehicles is “achievable”, while 36% (-6) believe it is “not achievable.”


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 23 to May 25, 2021, 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 data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]