MONTREAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2013) - The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), Canada's largest membership-based organization, today launched a web portal to provide Canadians with the information they need to understand electric vehicles.
The site includes an easy-to-use calculator that shows in a few clicks the financial costs and environmental benefits of operating an EV, as well as Canada's most comprehensive map of charging station locations. It also brings together in one place information on all the EV models on the market in Canada today, and on government incentives available for EVs and home charging stations. It is available at CAA.ca/electricvehicles.
"Car manufacturers are introducing more and more electric vehicles into the Canadian market," said Jeff Walker, CAA National vice president of public affairs. "Consumers are looking for a reliable and unbiased resource that gives them the information they need to decide if an EV is for them. CAA's new online resource will help them to do that."
CAA research shows that Canadians don't feel they know enough about electric vehicles to make the leap. In fact, two thirds of Canadians say they either totally (32%) or somewhat (33%) agree that they don't feel they know enough about electric vehicles to consider purchasing one yet.
In the last two years many Canadians have taken note of EVs but few have taken action. Intent to purchase EVs has remained essentially flat compared to 2010, when these vehicles first entered the marketplace. In a recent study conducted by CAA, 5% of Canadians said they definitely plan to consider an EV for their next vehicle, compared to 6% in 2010.
CAA's research indicates that three factors are at work:
- Concern about reliability. Many consumers believe that EVs are less reliable than standard gas-powered vehicles. However, they also believe that their reliability will improve in future, and within 5 years they will become more reliable than standard gas-powered vehicles.
- Concern about vehicle range and availability of charging stations. The idea of losing a charge and being stuck somewhere is a significant issue, partly because Canadians don't know where charging stations and networks are located.
- Concern about cost. Many consumers believe that the total cost of ownership of EVs is higher than that of a standard gas-powered vehicle, and will continue to be in future. Many Canadians are not aware of the significant savings in energy cost an EV provides compared to a standard gas-powered vehicle.
In this context, the portal brings together all of the latest data, information and tools Canadians need to gain a better understanding of electric vehicle technology.
"We're proud to partner with CAA to provide data for the calculator and map, two key pieces in helping to convince Canadians that electric vehicles are a real option today," said Cara Clairman, president and CEO of Plug'nDrive, an Ontario-based advocacy group for EVs.
CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing more than 5.6 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.