The average driver in this country is not ready to make the move into an electric or autonomous vehicle, according to a survey of more than 20,000 Canadians conducted by Elegant E-Learning (EE).
EE collected data through online surveys presented on a variety of its driver education websites, including find-a-driving-school.ca and G1.ca in which survey-takers were asked four questions about electric and autonomous vehicles.
The first question was an easy yes-or-no that asked the respondent if they would choose an electric vehicle over a comparably priced gasoline model; six of 10 Canadians said no.
Next, the survey asked for individuals’ levels of concern about riding in a fully self-driving car, on a scale of zero through 10, in which zero meant “not at all concerned” and 10 meant “extremely concerned.” Here, 55 percent of respondents put their level of concern at six or higher.
Question three followed up on the previous one, asking people if they thought the benefits of self-driving vehicles would outweigh their risks and costs, again on a scale of zero through 10, with zero indicating that would be impossible and 10 meant “definitely.” This time, the bulk of opinions came in at zero, 10, and dead in the middle of scale, indicating a mix of strong opinions and yawning ambivalence.
The fourth and final question EE put to its survey-takers was aimed at finding out which manufacturer would sell the most electric and self-driving vehicles in the coming decade, to which Tesla was the overwhelming top choice; the rest of the options were Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet and “other.”
EE also asked the same questions of visitors to its websites in the US, the UK, and Australia, where it found only a few opinions that contrasted notably with those of Canadians.
In Australia, the same 60 percent said no to electric cars, though that figure was 10 percent higher among American and British respondents.
Brits were the least concerned with the prospect of riding in a self-driven car, while the most resistance to that idea came from Australia, whose results were similar to those of Canadians.
Americans seemed less certain than residents of other countries that autonomous cars would bring tangible benefits; on this question, it was only in Australia that more respondents were positive about the future of self-driving vehicles.
The fourth question brought out the most stark differences. While Americans and Canadians agreed Tesla was at the head of the game for EVs and autonomous cars, Brits gave Toyota and Ford and overwhelming tie for the lead, while the Aussies think Toyota has those markets nailed by a vast margin.
EE says the average age for respondents in all four countries was between 27 and 30, and indicated a margin of error ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 per cent.