The Electric Vehicle Consumer Consultation was open from August 10, 2021, until January 17, 2022, and a total of 3,063 participants completed the survey. The consultation aimed to collect feedback from Canadians who own or are likely to own EVs in the near future concerning EV charging procedures, billing approaches and payment methods. The input received during this consultation will inform Measurement Canada decisions when developing kilowatt-hour (kWh) billing requirements for EV charging stations in the Canadian marketplace.
Summary of findings
- More than half of the participants (55%) agreed that Measurement Canada should provide oversight of EV chargers that include a charge for the time that a vehicle is connected to a charger; they indicated that accurate measurement of charging time is important to them.
- Most participants (92%) indicated that they charge their vehicles at their private residence, considering this to be the most effective way to charge their EVs.
- In terms of billing, most participants (93%) indicated that EV charging was included as part of their overall bill for electricity since they charge their vehicle primarily at home.
- Only a few respondents indicated that their home (residential) EV charger had a separate meter attached.
- A large proportion of respondents (88%) indicated that their most frequent billing experience when using a commercial public EV charging station was based on time connected to the charger. Other respondents (18%) indicated that their most frequent billing experience was based on energy delivered to their EV and, for a smaller proportion (10%), it was based on a combination of measured energy delivered to the vehicle and time connected to the charger.
- Open-ended comments pointed to a preference for a charge per kWh instead of a charge based on the time connected to the charger. However, a significant number of respondents see a justification for a combined charge based on kWh plus a flat fee for time or usage in order to discourage idling and taking up a rare EV charging spot.
Billing information preferences, digital receipts and disputes
The respondents indicated that the most important features they want to see on their EV charge bill include:
- total charges (96% of respondents),
- energy delivered in kWh (92% of respondents),
- rate of charge ($/kWh) (86% of respondents),
- date of charge (85% of respondents), and
- name and location of the charging station (81% of respondents).
Concerning billing and commercial charging stations, 78% of participants indicated that commercial EV charging stations do not print paper receipts. Instead, customers receive a digital copy in their email inbox or via an application on their smartphone or other device. The results indicate that the primary payment method for EV charger billing is currently smartphone applications (67% of respondents). In addition, 96% of respondents indicated they received their billing information in their choice of official language, and 88% of respondents reported never having an issue, disagreement or dispute related to the billing method used at commercial charging stations (only 7% reported experiencing an issue, and 5% reported uncertainty as to whether they experienced an issue).
Charging station preferences
The majority of respondents (92%) primarily use a private residence charging station, but only a small fraction (8%) primarily use a multi-residence charging station. Almost one quarter (24%) indicated they charge their EVs at their workplace or school for free. A large proportion of respondents (88%) also use commercial public charging stations where fees are incurred. Of those respondents, most prefer Level 2 (84%) and Level 3 (79%) charging over Level 1 (only 26% had a preference for Level 1) charging.
Consultation exercises with consumers continue on several fronts, including through other government departments. Measurement Canada EV survey remains available on its website and invitations to engage with MC continue to be sent out to potential stakeholders.