Eight in Ten Canadians Believe Electric Cars are the Way of the Future

Three quarters (75%) would like to drive a car not powered by gasoline; two in three (64%) would consider buying or leasing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

Toronto, ON (Aug. 17, 2015) – Eight in ten (80%) Canadians ‘agree’ (33% strongly/48% somewhat) that ‘electric cars are the way of the future’, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Hyundai. Just two in ten (20%) ‘disagree’ (3% strongly/17% somewhat) that they’re the way of the future. In fact, three quarters (75%) of Canadians ‘agree’ (32% strongly/44% somewhat) that they would ‘like to have a car that is not powered by traditional gasoline’, while only one in four (25%) ‘disagree’ (7% strongly/18% somewhat) that they would like to drive such a car.

The reticence of some towards electric cars could be driven by the fact that a majority (71%) ‘agrees’ (25% strongly/46% somewhat) that ‘constantly having to charge electric cars is a pain’ (29% disagree – 7% strongly/22% somewhat). While most (90%) can ‘agree’ (45% strongly/45% somewhat) that ‘cars that operate on an alternate source of fuel rather than traditional gasoline are great for the environment’ and that they’re ‘innovative’ (89% agree – 38% strongly/51% somewhat), two in three (67%) also ‘agree’ (20% strongly/47% somewhat) that they would ‘like to own an eco-friendly car but electric-powered cars are too much hassle’. One in three (33%) ‘disagrees’ (8% strongly/25% somewhat) that electric-powered cars are too much hassle.

Hydrogen fuel-cell technology may be able to address many of the hesitations that Canadians have about electric cars. Fuel cell technology is a type of power source for electric cars designed specifically to run on hydrogen. The reaction of hydrogen and air in the fuel cell generates electricity and water, and the electricity powers the car battery and motor. The only emission or byproduct created is pure water.

Given this description, just one in four (24%) say they’re ‘familiar’ (3% very/22% somewhat) with hydrogen fuel cell technology, while most (76%) are not (43% not very/32% not at all familiar – never heard of it). Those living in Ontario (31%) are most aware, followed by those living in BC (25%), Alberta (20%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (20%), Atlantic Canada (20%), and Quebec (17%). Given this information:

  • Nine in ten (89%) ‘agree’ (38% strongly/52% somewhat) that ‘it has a positive impact on the environment’, while one in ten (11%) ‘disagrees’ (2% strongly/9% somewhat).
  • Most (86%) ‘agree’ (38% strongly/47% somewhat) that ‘zero emissions vehicles are key to Canada reducing its carbon emissions’, while 14% ‘disagree’ (3% strongly/11% somewhat).
  • Eight in ten (80%) ‘agree’ (30% strongly/50% somewhat) that they ‘would like the government to provide more support for hydrogen fuel cell technology’, while just two in ten (20%) ‘disagree’ (4% strongly/16% somewhat).
  • Eight in ten (77%) ‘agree’ (23% strongly/54% somewhat) that ‘hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles are the way of the future’, while 23% ‘disagree’ (3% strongly/19% somewhat).
  • Six in ten (58%) ‘agree’ (10% strongly/47% somewhat) that ‘it can’t stand up to Canada’s cold weather’, while four in ten (42%) ‘disagree’ (6% strongly/36% somewhat).
  • Three in ten (27%) ‘agree’ (4% strongly/23% somewhat) that the ‘technology is dangerous’, while seven in ten (73%) ‘disagree’ (19% strongly/55% somewhat) that it is.

In short, two in three (64%) Canadians ‘agree’ (17% strongly/47% somewhat) that they would ‘consider buying or leasing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle if it was available in their area’, while one in three (36%) ‘disagree’ (9% strongly/27% somewhat) and would not consider driving such a vehicle. Respondents were presented with a list of facts about hydrogen fuel cell technology, and were asked the degree to which they considered each to be a benefit of the technology. The following chart demonstrates what Canadians had to say:


These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 27th and June 1st, 2015 on behalf of Hyundai. For this survey, a sample of 1,501 Canadians from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Ipsos in Canada

Ipsos is Canada’s market intelligence leader, the country’s leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos’ marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,669.5 ($2,218.4 million) in 2014.

Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

Source: Ipsos