Poll: 64% Of Canadians Would Consider Buying Or Leasing A Fuel Cell Vehicle

AUG 13 2015 BY JAY COLE 25

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicles Available Now In Canada

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicles Available Now In Canada

Ok, we confess we mused the statistic of “64% of Canadians Would Consider A Fuel Cell Vehicle” several times without it really sinking in.

Do 64% of Canadians even know what a fuel cell vehicle is?  And who put this survey out?

Hyundai Tucson ix35 at hydrogen refuelling station

Hyundai Tucson ix35 at hydrogen refuelling station

Turns out there was a little primer on what fuel cells vehicles actually are in the Ipsos poll (via GreenCarCongress) that surveyed 1,501 Canadians – a survey that was conducted on behalf of Hyundai; who perhaps not unsurprisingly was the first to offer a fuel cell vehicle in Canada this January with the Tucson FCEV.

The poll also suggests that 80% of Canadians feel electric vehicles are the way of the future, but that 71% think “constantly having to charge electric cars is a pain”.

“Hydrogen fuel-cell technology may be able to address many of the hesitations that Canadians have about electric cars. Fuel cell technology is a type of power source for electric cars designed specifically to run on hydrogen. The reaction of hydrogen and air in the fuel cell generates electricity and water, and the electricity powers the car battery and motor. The only emission or byproduct created is pure water.”

It would seem that Hyundai’s fingerprints are more than a little on this survey.

Those tidbits out of the way, here is the rest of the press release blast via Ipsos:

Eight in Ten (80%) Canadians Believe Electric Cars are the Way of the Future

Three Quarters (75%) Would Like to Drive a Car Not Powered by Gasoline; Two in Three (64%) Would Consider Buying or Leasing a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Toronto, ON – Eight in ten (80%) Canadians ‘agree’ (33% strongly/48% somewhat) that ‘electric cars are the way of the future’, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Hyundai. Just two in ten (20%) ‘disagree’ (3% strongly/17% somewhat) that they’re the way of the future. In fact, three quarters (75%) of Canadians ‘agree’ (32% strongly/44% somewhat) that they would ‘like to have a car that is not powered by traditional gasoline’, while only one in four (25%) ‘disagree’ (7% strongly/18% somewhat) that they would like to drive such a car.

The reticence of some towards electric cars could be driven by the fact that a majority (71%) ‘agrees’ (25% strongly/46% somewhat) that ‘constantly having to charge electric cars is a pain’ (29% disagree – 7% strongly/22% somewhat). While most (90%) can ‘agree’ (45% strongly/45% somewhat) that ‘cars that operate on an alternate source of fuel rather than traditional gasoline are great for the environment’ and that they’re ‘innovative’ (89% agree – 38% strongly/51% somewhat), two in three (67%) also ‘agree’ (20% strongly/47% somewhat) that they would ‘like to own an eco-friendly car but electric-powered cars are too much hassle’. One in three (33%) ‘disagrees’ (8% strongly/25% somewhat) that electric-powered cars are too much hassle.

Hydrogen fuel-cell technology may be able to address many of the hesitations that Canadians have about electric cars. Fuel cell technology is a type of power source for electric cars designed specifically to run on hydrogen. The reaction of hydrogen and air in the fuel cell generates electricity and water, and the electricity powers the car battery and motor. The only emission or byproduct created is pure water.

Given this description, just one in four (24%) say they’re ‘familiar’ (3% very/22% somewhat) with hydrogen fuel cell technology, while most (76%) are not (43% not very/32% not at all familiar – never heard of it). Those living in Ontario (31%) are most aware, followed by those living in BC (25%), Alberta (20%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (20%), Atlantic Canada (20%), and Quebec (17%). Given this information:

  • Nine in ten (89%) ‘agree’ (38% strongly/52% somewhat) that ‘it has a positive impact on the environment’, while one in ten (11%) ‘disagrees’ (2% strongly/9% somewhat).
  • Most (86%) ‘agree’ (38% strongly/47% somewhat) that ‘zero emissions vehicles are key to Canada reducing its carbon emissions’, while 14% ‘disagree’ (3% strongly/11% somewhat).
  • Eight in ten (80%) ‘agree’ (30% strongly/50% somewhat) that they ‘would like the government to provide more support for hydrogen fuel cell technology’, while just two in ten (20%) ‘disagree’ (4% strongly/16% somewhat).
  • Eight in ten (77%) ‘agree’ (23% strongly/54% somewhat) that ‘hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles are the way of the future’, while 23% ‘disagree’ (3% strongly/19% somewhat).
  • Six in ten (58%) ‘agree’ (10% strongly/47% somewhat) that ‘it can’t stand up to Canada’s cold weather’, while four in ten (42%) ‘disagree’ (6% strongly/36% somewhat).
  • Three in ten (27%) ‘agree’ (4% strongly/23% somewhat) that the ‘technology is dangerous’, while seven in ten (73%) ‘disagree’ (19% strongly/55% somewhat) that it is.

In short, two in three (64%) Canadians ‘agree’ (17% strongly/47% somewhat) that they would ‘consider buying or leasing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle if it was available in their area’, while one in three (36%) ‘disagree’ (9% strongly/27% somewhat) and would not consider driving such a vehicle. Respondents were presented with a list of facts about hydrogen fuel cell technology, and were asked the degree to which they considered each to be a benefit of the technology: The following chart demonstrates what Canadians had to say:

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 27th and June 1st, 2015 on behalf of Hyundai. For this survey, a sample of 1,501 Canadians from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

Ipsos, GreenCarCongress

Categories: General, Hyundai


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25 Comments on "Poll: 64% Of Canadians Would Consider Buying Or Leasing A Fuel Cell Vehicle"

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OH Canada …

So Canadians think hydrogen will take off, eh? Look at that hoser in the pic above, filling up her Hyundai with hydrogen, eh?

As a Canadian, this poll is way off the mark.

64% of Canadians do not know what a fuel cell is, and they certainly aren’t considering one.

The sentiment in Canada is much more pro-BEV than pro-FCEV, but even with BEV most people aren’t aware of them.

This. I’ve said on greencarreports.com
My personal survey of hundreds of Canadians confirms that most don’t understand the difference between hybrids, PHEV and BEV. They also have never heard of a FCEV. Unless they already drive a volt/Leaf/Tesla.
Also, why would Canadians think that BEVs need to be charged constantly.

I haven’t looked at the questionnaire but I suspect the questions were formulated to get the answers that Hyundai was looking for.

“They are not reliant on highly volatile fuel prices”

I don’t know how many would say that the price on natural gas is all that much less volatile than the price on oil.
It would not be all that hard to argue that it’s the other way around.

That’s because only 24% of the respondents to this poll had any idea what HFCVs were in the first place, with only 3% being “very familiar”, meaning that only this final 3% are even aware enough to understand that this technology, the fuel for it, and the infrastructure (that doesn’t yet exist at all) to bring that fuel to the customer, are all stupidly expensive compared to everything else.

That’s a pretty salient fact considering that basically 97% of the respondents didn’t know that this is a really dumb idea and it has no hope of saving anybody any money over gas. Or even, for that matter, that it will ever save anybody any emissions over gas.

Maybe we should commission a poll that asks people whether they’d support switching our entire gasoline infrastructure to a much more expensive infrastructure that will lower emissions from cars by about 25% and uses a convoluted method for converting natural gas into electricity.

And guess what: 25% known fuel cells already, 20% disagreed with fuel cells.

This means minimum 5% that know a little bit about fuel cells somehow agreed to fuel cells.

Whistler, BC has been running a few hydrogen buses for many years now. They don’t stink like diesel buses do.

There is a hydrogen fueling station but it is strict for the buses. The hydrogen is shipped from Quebec, so I have been told.

Whistler’s hydrogen fuel cell buses are no more. They have been replaced by or converted to diesel buses.


The entire thing was scrapped because it was stupidly expensive to fuel those buses. It would have been cheaper to build diesel hybrid buses like Vancouver has.

This entire questionnaire was a marketing piece with a narrative that led respondents to a predetermined conclusion. Even then it’s not very compelling. Things to note. 76% of those polled were not familiar with hydrogen fuel cell technology with 32% not at all familiar at all – never heard of it. But then the poll determines that 64% would consider buying or leasing!? That’s important because many of those that have never heard of it would consider buying or leasing only because they no nothing of the downsides of the technology. But the questionnaire makes sure to highlight the shortcomings of EVs in a leading way in the previous questions to those polled. 67% also ‘agree’ that they would ‘like to own an eco-friendly car but electric-powered cars are too much hassle’. Wow. If you want to make sure your poll is unscientific then add negative qualifiers into the question to inaccurately skew the results. Notice how there were no parallel questions on fuel cell technology like ‘do you agree or disagree that you would like to own an eco-friendly car but hydrogen fuel cell cars are inconvenient because there are no stations currently to fuel them with and the… Read more »

How do you know what’s in the questionaire? Has it been posted somewhere?

Yes. It’s been posted on some other blog discussion boards. I’ll try to find it and post it here. Anyway it is very clear from the questions and the structure of the questionnaire the narrative they are pushing.

Here’s the link:www(dot)ipsos-na(dot)com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=6941

Notice how the questions start with a couple of negative agree/disagree questions about EVS sprinkled in with questions about eco friendly driving.

Later the topic purely shifts to hydrogen fuel cells. They ask a number of questions about which trait of hfcvs would be the most beneficial. They don’t ask that for EVs. They also as if they would consider buying or leasing a fuel cell but they don’t ask that about EVs.

Maybe I’m just being thick, but I don’t see the questionnaire under that link? I see only a press release summarizing the findings.

Basically this just confirms that the vast majority of those polled know nothing about hydrogen vehicles, hydrogen production, or anything else about it. But it sounds cool.

But you can guarantee that Hyundai will take this poll to the Canadian government to show that 75% of Canadians would support greater government subsidies on HFCVs.

How many public hydrogen filling stations are there in Canada?

If there are any – how long until there are enough to drive across Canada? Who will build them, and who will pay for them?

There’s some good news in there. 80% of Canadians think electric vehicles are the way of the future. This is roughly equal to the percentage of Americans who put both socks on, then their shoes, as opposed to one sock, one shoe.

Only 27% think the technology is dangerous. Compare this to the 46% of Americans who believe the Earth was created less than 10,000 years ago.

As surveys go, you’re not going to do much better than that.

On the other hand, I’m disappointed that 58% of us think “it can’t stand up to Canada’s cold weather” and 75% that “constantly having to charge electric charge is a pain.” Still quite a bit of mythbusting to do.

“constantly having to charge electric cars is a pain”

Sure, I agree. If it were the case that you constantly had to charge an electric car, that would be a pain. Luckily, that is not the case as the vast majority of EV charging is done while you are doing something else, making EVs even more comfortable than the fossil cars.

Yeah, this survey is completely leading the answers and is just a propaganda piece.

When Canadians answered Hyundai’s questions, Canucks were no doubt assuming they would be able to afford the car, the repairs and upkeep along with refueling costs.

But, affordability isn’t discussed in Hyundai’s carefully spun pro-hydrogen fuel cell survey.

If Canadians realized the true costs and the many problems with hydrogen, the survey results would have been far less positive.

True enough, Hyundai can sell or lease the Tucson at a loss for a while, but not forever. And hopefully, there will be a major backlash from voters here in the States if Congress tries to levy billions in new taxes to build out a hydrogen infrastructure.

Even if Hyundai hadn’t skewed the survey in their favor, 1,500 people is way too small a number to try and represent all Canadians.

They should have asked some more questions:
Is it important to have:
-the possibility to have more than 150hp
-a working infrastructure
-ability to buy cars for less than 50 grand
for example

If they showed both the positives AND the negatives of fuel cell vehicles, I doubt the number of people that would accept it would be anywhere near 64%.