About half of drivers in British Columbia are considering an electric vehicle when the time comes to buy a new car, a new poll suggests.

Research Co.'s survey found that 51 per cent of those polled province-wide reported being "very likely" or "moderately likely" to switch to a zero-emission vehicle.

That number was slightly higher in Metro Vancouver (55 per cent) and Vancouver Island (52 per cent), while in the Fraser Valley, Southern B.C. and Northern B.C., fewer than 45 per cent of respondents gave the same answer.

“There are some significant regional differences when the concerns of potential electric vehicle owners are analyzed,” said of Research Co. president and CEO Mario Canseco.

“More than a third of drivers who reside in Southern BC (35 per cent) and Northern BC (45 per cent) claim they lack places to charge electric vehicles, compared to just 20 per cent among those who live in Metro Vancouver.”

Those who said they weren't considering an electric vehicle cited cost, not having enough places to charge the car and a fear of becoming stranded if the batteries run out.

Research Co.'s poll results were released just two days after the B.C. government passed legislation that will require all new cars and light-duty trucks sold in the province to be clean-energy vehicles by 2040.

The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act sets a target of 10 per cent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2025, 30 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2040.

According to the poll, an overwhelming 70 per cent of residents agree with the new law, while one-in-five disagree and 10 per cent remain undecided.

About half of respondents said they believe the goal established in the legislation is achievable, while slightly fewer (42 per cent) didn't believe it could be accomplished.

Research Co. surveyed 800 adults in British Columbia online between May 20 and 22. The data carries a margin of error of 3.5 per cent.