Local car dealerships say they're seeing an increase in customers looking to make the switch to either electric or hybrid in the face of rising fuel prices.

Kyle Beattie, a product advisor at Forbes Toyota in Waterloo said more than half of its customers are interested in so-called green vehicles.

“There’s a huge demand for them,” he told CTV News.

Chris Goldswortchy, general manager at Kia Waterloo said the increased price of gas is the driving factor for many people making the switch.

“I drove by the pump today and it was almost $1.76 [per litre]," he said. "My phone's been ringing a couple times today from friends asking what [electric] cars I have available."

electric car

Wait times for a premium electric or hybrid vehicle are up to a year due to the high demand.

“It used to be more of a fringe thing before," said Goldswortchy. "We would sell the odd electric vehicle, but it had to be a specific customer that didn’t have a huge range requirement and was doing most of their driving in town. But now the technology has come a long way and the cars more usable for your average user. And gas prices are enormous, so the demand is huge compared to what it was before."


One Waterloo man purchased a second electric vehicle after seeing the price of gas increase.

“My wife drives to Listowel every day, we drive a lot… so we bought another [Tesla] this last March," said Sean Goggin. "It’s saving us a lot of money on gas."

While it costs more up front to purchase an electric vehicle, Goggin said the savings on gas is huge.

“For every 10,000 km you drive, you use about 1,000 litres of gas, so at $1.70, that’s about $1,700,” he said.

Meanwhile a Waterloo condominium is installing charging stations due to the increase in tenants purchasing electric vehicles.

Beth Jewkes, a board member at Caroline Street Private Residences said currently there are five electric vehicles at the building, but more than half a dozen are being purchased.

“We did a survey as part of this project to find out who would be interested in the next two years, the next five years, and 32 people stepped up,” Jewkes said.

Gas prices reached an all time high in Waterloo Region on Friday, and experts warn they're likely to continue to rise.