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Report – Not so EV: supply challenges dominate but change is near for B.C. buyers

VANCOUVER: A new BC Hydro report [PDF, 139 KB] finds over one third of British Columbians who are interested in buying a vehicle are hesitant to buy an electric vehicle (EV) because of lack of availability but new research [PDF, 95 KB] shows supply will improve in the next year.1

The report titled, "Not so EV: Supply challenges deterring many would be B.C. buyers from going electric," [PDF, 139 KB] finds while 35 per cent of those surveyed2 are considering purchasing an EV as their next vehicle, many said the scarcity of EV models available to purchase is a major barrier. A large majority (88 per cent) also said they have noticed an increase in demand for EVs over the past two years, and of those most attribute the rise in demand to increasing oil and gas prices.

"Many British Columbians are currently searching for an EV to buy," said Kyle Donaldson, BC Hydro spokesperson. "Of those who are actively searching, 41 per cent describe the EV buying process as difficult, but there is reason to be optimistic as new research [PDF, 95 KB] from an independent automotive analyst shows EV supply chain issues will begin to ease by 2023, with supply close to fully meeting demand by 2026."

Some have joined a waitlist (16 per cent) or multiple wait lists (seven per cent) for an EV, while five per cent have put a deposit on more than one EV in case one sale falls through. Others have taken more drastic measures:

  • 13 per cent made inquiries to buy a friend, family member or neighbours' car.
  • 15 per cent considered purchasing an EV out of province or country.
  • 11 per cent settled for a colour they did not want or gave up features they did want.
  • Five per cent bought a more luxurious model or spent more than they wanted to.
  • One per cent fought with another EV buyer.
  • One per cent told a lie or cheated.

Although manufacturing shortages are expected to continue in the short term, EV supply chain issues are already starting to ease. New research shows 3.5 per cent growth in EV market share in B.C. this year compared to 2021. By 2023, market share will grow about 6.5 per cent with more than 45,000 units available compared to about 30,000 in 2022. By 2026, 118,000 new units will be available, thanks to improvements in microchip and battery production and the introduction of new models, like pickup trucks and SUVs.

As manufacturing ramps up, BC Hydro is planning to install 325 fast charging units at 145 sites by December 2025. British Columbians hoping to get an EV as soon as possible should:

  • Plan and be flexible: EVs are in high demand – it may take time to locate a specific vehicle. It is crucial to plan, shortlist models and get on waitlists, and BC Hydro can help. Visit to search all the electric vehicles available in B.C. by manufacturer, type of car, price and range.
  • Buy used: Used EVs are cheaper and available from the same main channels as any other car – private sellers, used car dealers and certified used. The Province of BC recently announced that it will no longer collect provincial sales tax (PST) on used EV sales.
  • Know that change is coming: EV supply chain issues will begin to ease by 2023, with supply close to fully meeting demand by 2026.

1 EV sales forecast – Canada and B.C. – James Carter, independent automotive analyst research, 2022 – Vision Mobility.
2 Online survey conducted by Majid Khoury of 800 British Columbians between April 22 & 25 who own a vehicle or are interested in buying one, margin of error 3.46%.