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Transportation Habits are Changing: New Kia Canada study reveals Canadians’ shifting mindset amid COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Nearly 80% of Canadians feel safest travelling by car
  • 51% of Canadians intend to or would consider purchasing an EV to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Common EV misconceptions revealed


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COVID-19 lockdowns have disrupted what was once considered ‘normal,’ challenging Canadians to adjust their daily lives, rethink travel, and reconsider how to make a positive environmental difference. To determine Canadians’ electric intrigue, Kia Canada commissioned Canadian pollster Angus Reid[1] to conduct a recent survey to gauge transportation habits, EV knowledge and misconceptions to help educate consumers on how easy making the switch to EV can be.

The findings show that since the pandemic began, 79% of Canadians say they feel safest travelling by car and 38% are more conscious of their life choices and impact on the environment. In fact, over half the population say they intend to or would consider purchasing an EV for their next vehicle to reduce their carbon footprint.

Collective Green Consciousness

Consumer appetite for sustainable living is growing in popularity and since 2015, Kia Canada has placed over 8,000 EV vehicles on the road and has recorded triple digit year-over-year increases in the past 3 years, showing that many Canadians are increasingly more aware of their environmental choices and looking to engage in green consumerism to better the planet. However, survey findings reveal that 82% of Canadians have never driven an EV before. To understand why this could be, Kia identified common misconceptions that act as EV barriers to help arm Canadians with the facts they need to gain EV confidence.

Tune-Up on EV Facts and Common Misconceptions

The national survey revealed that when it comes to EVs, Canadians were hesitant to make the switch due to four key concerns: charging station availability, the time it takes to charge, vehicle range and the higher cost of EV’s.

A strong believer in consumer education, Kia Canada, which offers the largest green car line-up among mainstream automotive manufacturers, understands that EV education comes with experience and is determined to clear up Canadians’ myths and misconceptions about going the distance safely, economically and environmentally in a clean-driving EV.

Myth #1: EV Charging Station Availability

Every day brings new adventure with multiple pitstops along the way. From running daily errands to dropping the kids off at school or hockey practice, Canadians rely on their vehicles to support their busy schedules, no problem.

Here’s where the myth about recharging comes in: 47% of Canadians say they would not consider purchasing an EV and among this group 50% believe finding a charging station is a nuisance, and 30% don’t think they can install a charging port in their home.

And here’s where fact versus fiction comes into play: ChargeHub, Canada’s leading charging station app, says there are more than 14,000 public charging ports (Level 2 and 3) available across Canada, making it easy for drivers everywhere to access charging on-demand – whether its at their local grocery store, service station, or restaurant. In fact, there has been a 50% year-over-year growth in the amount of new charging stations available across the country increasing accessibility for EV drivers[2].

To Canadians’ surprise, EV charging is done at home 71% of the time[3]. Kia supplies a Level 1 charger with the purchase of its Soul EV, Niro EV and Niro PHEV models, providing Canadians the option and safeguard to charge up without having to leave their home.

Myth #2: EV Charge Time

Sixty-eight per cent of Canadian car owners say they drive less than 50kms on an average day, making EVs a realistic and sustainable option to support their daily lifestyles. Offering up to 385km in one single charge, Kia’s popular EV models can support the average driver for up to a week and eliminate the need to stop for fuel or gas along the way. Homeowners who opt for easy home charging installation can also rest easy knowing they can simply plug-in at home, charge overnight, wake-up and go on a full charge.

In the case that drivers need to recharge while en route, all Kia EVs can be recharged to 80% in under an hour using a Level 3 charging station (100kW). This means you can recharge during a shopping trip or while grabbing lunch, and get back on the road in no time.

Myth 3: EV Range

COVID-19 international border closures have opened our eyes to domestic travel in Canada – with our great nation viewed as THE must-see destination. In fact:

  • 66% of car owners say they use their vehicles for road trips near and far;
  • 47% of Canadians are interested in travelling in their home provinces and 33% are interested in travelling within Canada in the next six months

Longer trips see many Canadians worried about EV range, and don’t think they can go the distance:

  • 84% of Canadians do not know that many EVs can travel more than 350km in a single charge

In reality, Canadians will be thrilled to know that Kia EVs boast an impressive vehicle range (up to 385km on a single charge), matched with dynamic smooth-power performance, and deliver an exciting, efficient drive.

For Canadians who want to go EV, but crave even more range, Kia’s Niro hybrid (HEV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models offer the improved environmental benefits, with a gas engine option for extended trips outside of the city. The best of both worlds!

Myth #4: EV Cost

Every vehicle purchase comes with its own financial commitment. The survey reports that among the 47% of Canadians who would not consider an EV, 59% believe that EVs are too expensive and costly to maintain.

The switch from a gasoline-powered vehicle to an EV is not as costly as one would think and can help Canadians save money throughout the year factoring in the low cost of electricity compared to gas and fewer maintenance costs. In addition to this benefit, the Government of Canada offers federal sales incentives of up to $5,000 to Canadians who purchase zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) and provinces, such as British Columbia and Quebec offer up to an additional $3,000 and $8,000 respectively. It’s the perfect time for Canadians to go electric to support a sustainable lifestyle. Your wallet and the environment will thank you.

It’s Time to Go EV

For the majority of Canadians who have never driven an EV, Kia Canada is here to help consumers understand the real-life benefits of electric driving and to showcase the easy switch to EV.

From daily life to long distance drives, Kia EV’s are here to help Canadians go the distance with the Power to Surprise. For more education about Kia’s EV options, cost calculator and government rebate qualifications, visit kia.ca/greencars.

About Kia Canada

Kia Canada Inc. (KCI), founded in 1999 and is a subsidiary of the Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) based in Seoul, South Korea. The full line of award-winning Kia vehicles offers world-class quality and customer satisfaction through a network of 195 dealers across the country. The company employs 170 people at its headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, as well as in locations across Canada and at its regional office in Montréal, Québec. Kia’s slogan “The Power to Surprise,” symbolizes the company’s worldwide commitment to exceed customer expectations through sustained automotive innovation.

Whether it is a compact, crossover, or electric model which is among the best in the industry, each Kia vehicle offers a superior combination of precision engineering, exceptional performance, innovative features and advanced safety systems. Kia has sold a million vehicles, including popular models in Canada like the Soul, Forte, Sportage, Sorento, Stinger and has recently added the Seltos and K5 to its lineup. To learn more, visit kia.ca or Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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