Citizen perceptions of electric vehicle policy in Canada: Examining awareness, support, trust, and regional differences

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Author: Kitt, Shelby
This study examines citizens’ perceptions of five policies aimed at increasing electric vehicle (EV) uptake (carbon tax, purchase incentive and three regulations) and explores the role of citizen trust. Through a survey of Canadian citizens (n=1552), I assess: 1) awareness of EV policies, 2) support and opposition of policies, 3) trust in institutions (competence, integrity and value similarity), and 4) significant factors of support. I find that respondents are mostly unaware of EV policies, and are frequently confused about where policies are in place. Policy support varies considerably by policy type and stringency. The majority of respondents support incentives and most regulations, whereas support is considerably lower for a carbon tax. Regression analyses indicate that trust in the federal government’s competence is associated with support for all EV policies, whereas other forms of trust (integrity-based and value similarity), and trust in the provincial government, are not consistently significant.
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