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Concerns over EV costs, charging linger

March 7, 2024

Consumer interest in electric vehicles (EVs) in Ontario appears to be softening as drivers raise concerns over costs and charging infrastructure, said a new survey from

While 43% of polled Ontario drivers said they were considering an EV/hybrid for their next vehicle, 75% had concerns related to purchase, maintenance and repair costs, availability of charging stations and size of the current charging network, and the practicality of charging the cars at home.

In particular, 55% of polled drivers cited sticker price as a concern, 49% were concerned about the number of charging stations available, and 40% were concerned about installing home chargers.

Forty-one per cent of respondents said they were not considering buying a green vehicle at all.

The survey, which polled 816 drivers between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15, revealed about 88% of Ontarian respondents drive gas-powered vehicles.

Another survey from BrokerLink last year found more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents were concerned about the cost of their EV insurance premiums.

While more people may be considering EVs, interest in green vehicles has been up and down the past few years. According to their year-end search data report, found that interest in EVs actually declined by 12% in 2023 from the previous year. That may be because consumers are more motivated by finances.

Research insurance options

“While insurance costs for EVs and gas-powered vehicles are relatively comparable now, that may change as EV adoption becomes more widespread,” said Steven Harris, a broker. “Anyone choosing to purchase an EV or hybrid should research their insurance options upon purchase, but also annually on renewal, as this sector is likely to change quickly and insurers will adapt premium pricing accordingly.

“As EVs become more popular, insurance rates will likely become more competitive due to the increased availability of parts for repair and a corresponding drop in maintenance and repair costs.”

Costs to insure the top five most queried EVs on (all Teslas) were between about $3,500 and $5,000 annually, said.

There is also a direct correlation between gas prices and EV interest, Jodi Lai, editor-in-chief of, said in a blog. “When gas prices are high, EV interest is also high.”

Teslas are unique in that they require specialized maintenance from authorized autobody shops, which can increase repair costs. But they also grant owners access to their robust supercharging network, which is an advantage for people who are concerned about charging.

But Lai said EVs aren’t the best solution for everybody. People who live in condos without chargers, those worried about battery performance in sub-zero temperatures and residents of provinces without generous zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) rebates may find it challenging to eliminate gas-powered vehicles.

“But this could change very quickly,” said. “The current charging network is already more robust than people think, with more stations on the way… As Canada gets moving on its federal ZEV mandate, the EV revolution could already be underway.”

-With files from Canadian Underwriter,


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