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The Electric Vehicle Buyer is Changing in Canada. Who Will Be Driving Future Growth?

Published Oct 31, 2022, 04:05 PM by Environics Analytics
See how the EV consumer audience in Canada is shifting with some surprising emerging audiences


Based on projections in the most recent update of Environics Analytics’ EVTrends dataset, we see electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) growth rates among young, urban professionals and culturally-diverse families—predominantly of Chinese and South Asian descent—are surpassing that of average Canadians. This market has been historically dominated by groups of wealthier and middle-income families, which represent close to half of current EV and PHEV sales today. 

Line graph showing EV and PHEV growth rates until Q1 2022 and two-year projections.


As demonstrated in the chart below, these emerging audiences represent 10% more of the EV and PHEV market today compared to 2019, despite being small groups in the electric vehicle marketplace. By 2024, they are expected to be almost half of buyers. This is important information for automakers to understand when planning their electrification strategy for the not-so-distant future. 

Stacked bar graph showing the share of total EV and PHEV registrations in 2019, 2022, and projection for 2024.


Young urban professionals

With more new EVs and PHEVs being released annually than ever before, automakers are now appealing to this audience in ways they weren’t able to previously. 

Young urban professionals are part of a progressive, environmentally-conscious generation. EVs and PHEVs are now more accessible than in the past with right-sized models, such as the Kia Niro EV, Toyota Prius Prime and the Mazda MX-30, making it easier for this group to find a vehicle that fits their lifestyle. This is an audience living in denser city centres like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. 

Mixed race woman inside a car at a showroom with sales rep talking to her through the window


Diverse suburban families

Culturally diverse families, mostly living in the suburbs of markets such as Markham (ON), Mississauga (ON) and Richmond (BC), have largely been an SUV-buying group. An increase in electric SUV availability is heavily attracting this audience who sees a car as a status symbol. Sleeker options like the Tesla Model Y, Audi e-tron and BMW X3 are appealing to this group as these cars meet the needs of a family with a luxury badge. 

We are also seeing surprising growth from town and rural audiences more recently across Canada with heavy growth in Quebec. This is driven by the Tesla Model 3, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Nissan Leaf. As more EVs in different shapes and sizes are released, it will be interesting to see how growth rates are impacted. 

Contact us to learn more about these trends and how you can leverage the latest data for the automotive and EV industry.  



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