Electric Vehicle Sales in Canada: Q1 2017

Electric vehicle sales continued their upward trend through the first quarter of the new year. Passing another milestone in January of 2017 of over 30,000 EVs (BEV and PHEV combined) now on the road in Canada. By the end of March 2017, the total was 32,482 EVs (16,578 BEVs and 15,904 PHEVs).

The first two months of 2017 were predictably slow for new EV sales in Canada. To the delight of EV dealers everywhere that changed by the end of March. A resurgence in March saw an all-time high for BEVs at 873 new car sales, an increase of 381 cars over March 2016. Plug-in hybrids also saw a notable increase over the previous year in March of 166 vehicles. Together, the two categories set a new monthly record for plug-in electric vehicle sales of 1474 total vehicles.

Total Canadian Electric Vehicle Fleet Q1 2017

Three Provinces, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia continue to dominate EV sales across Canada totaling 95.8% of sales nationwide. Quebec continues to lead all Provincial sales with over 14,000 total EV sales. Electric vehicle sales in Ontario set a new record by surpassing the 10,000 total EVs milestone.

The Province of British Columbia, third for Provincial EV sales maintained a first place position for EVs by hitting 4% of all passenger car sales in March of 2017. If current trends continue we can predict both British Columbia ad Quebec EV sales to surpass 5% of the total passenger vehicle market.

Canadian Electric Vehicle Sales Q1 2017

For all new vehicle sales, British Columbia and Quebec continue to lead in adoption of electric vehicles. Both Provinces are reliably above 1% of all new vehicle sales. Ontario, behind the other two provinces for total adoption, is trending predictably up and to the right on track to surpass 0.6% EV saturation by the first month of Q2 2017.

Top Electric Vehicles for Q1 2017

The top 10 plug-in electric models by market share experienced some reshuffling since year end 2016. Nissan Leaf narrowly maintained the first place position with 5,470 sold to date. The Leaf is in a neck and neck race for the first place position, challenged by the Tesla Model S which has sold a total of 5,453 vehicles to date.

An increase in Q1 sales of nearly 400 vehicles saw the Tesla Model X leaping two positions over the Kia Soul and Smart FORTWO to capture third place position with 1,404 in total sales.

Notably, the combined total of all Tesla models, S, X and Roadster is now over 6,900 vehicles or 42% of the total PEV market share in Canada.

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Not making the top 10 list of plug-in electric vehicles but notable none the less for is the Chevrolet Bolt. A late inclusion in the category last year the Bolt in a short amount of time has now sold over 300 vehicles. Sales are of the new vehicle are predominant in the three leading Provinces for EV sales, Quebec (163 Bolts sold), Ontario (113 Bolts sold) and British Columbia (34 Bolts sold).

In the plug-in hybrid category of electric vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt is surging ahead of the competition surpassing 10,000 total vehicles. The Chevrolet Volts now accounts for an incredible 64% of all PHEVs on the road in Canada. The second place position is held by the Ford C-Max at 1,171 vehicles total followed by the BMW i3 REX model with 668 total vehicles.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq BEV

The much anticipated 2017 Hyundai Ioniq BEV hit the road for the first time in March 2017 with the first nine happy customers getting their models in Ontario.

Canadian Plug-in Electric Vehicle Registrations Q1 2017

Despite a seasonally slow start to the first quarter of the year, March will go down as a banner month on multiple accounts including new vehicle registrations. An all-time high of 1,474 new PEV registrations in March this helped the Q1 total rise over 68% from Q1 in 2016. Unlike previous years the strong results in early 2017 show a visible quickening in the electric vehicle market. If trends continue it is likely to see monthly registrations of over 1,500 PEVs by the seasonal peak in September of 2017.


Canadian EV Fleet Summary Q1 2017


As always, the data is sourced from R.L. Polk & Company registration data, industry executive interviews, and rounded out by Matthew Klippenstein’s Canadian EV Sales Summaries.

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