Electric Vehicle Sales In Canada, Q2 2017

 In EV Industry

One does not need to review the electric vehicles (EV) sales statistics to realize that the segment is booming. By looking around as you drive to work, to pickup the kids, or go somewhere fun (for those of us without kids) you’ll notice that EVs are taking over our streets.

Models which sport electric-inspired styling such as the Tesla Model S, BMW i3 and recent introduction, Chevrolet Bolt EV are easy to spot. Less obvious EV models which share styling with their gas counterparts are also cruising Canadian suburbs. These inconspicuous models include the Kia Soul EV, Smart ForTwo ED and Toyota RAV4 EV.

Are we to trust our gut with regard to the exact moment which the inevitable EV takeover is official? The answer is no. For those of us who need to base our excitement on cold hard data, the Q2 Canadian EV sales stats indicate we should all be experiencing unbridled glee. Try not to grin from ear to ear while reading through the Q2 2017 Canadian electric vehicle sales stats.

An overview of the Canadian electric vehicle market

Before jumping into the good news, it’s important to remember where we came from. Turning back the clock to a few short years ago, plug-in EV sales were a fraction of what we see today.

As an example, 2013 EV sales in Canada totaled over 1,600 for battery EVs (BEV) and plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEV) each. Since that time the market has only seen temporary leveling of a month or two. Annual numbers have always built upon previous years as the market continues to grow. 2017 is a perfect example of that fact as sales stats half way through the year are up 70% over the first half of 2016. With the trajectory of sales only heading up and at a faster pace, Q2 may be the quarter where the EV takeover became official.

New EV model introductions

As the market heats up, manufacturers continue to jump in with new models. The total number of EV models in Canada is now at 40. Four of those were introduced within the last months alone. The Hyundai Ioniq all electric battery and plug-in hybrid, Kia Optima plug-in hybrid, Mini Cooper S E, and albeit not completely new, the PHEV Toyota Prime (now named Prius Prime) landed in June.

Recent introductions to the market are no slouches either. New models perform well upon introduction to the market, often surpassing their electric predecessors.

Thanks to Jeff Turner for tipping us off on the fact that the Hyundai IONIQ has performed extremely well in Canada, with over 200 sales through to the end of June. That may be the first time a model has outpaced the sales of the US market. Clearly there is a concerted effort to “push” inventory in the Canadian marketplace. I have a feeling fellow Canucks are more than happy to take possession of that inventory.

Another recent addition, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is turning some heads with an extremely strong introduction in 2017. Q2 2017 numbers along for the Bolt are upwards of 500 sales to outpace every other BEV model. Well done, Bolt.

Canadian EV Sales Q2 2017

The big picture of Canadian EV sales stats

At the end of Q2 2017 nearly 37,000 electric vehicles have been sold in Canada. The total number of new EVs sold in Q2 2017 totaled nearly 5,000. This represents almost 1,600 more EVs sold in Q2 across Canada than in Q1 of 2017. That acceleration in the rate of new EV sales has continued through the entire half of Q2 with June setting a new record of 1,824 sales. The split between all electric battery EVs to plug-in hybrid EVs is half and half. 969 of the 1,824 Q2 EV sales were of BEVs.


The growth of the EV market becomes even clearer when we look at annual EV sales together. Excluding minor setbacks, EV sales have increased each year every year. 2016 sales peaked in the month of October with nearly 1,300 sold in that month.

Putting Canadian EV sales in perspective

The percent of new vehicle sales in Canada is shifting more towards electric vehicles as each month passes. Quebec and British Columbia both see EV sales representing 1.2% of new vehicle sales respectively. While Ontario is building towards 1% of the market, currently passing 0.7%. While these numbers may seem small compared to the total number of auto sales. The thing to take note of here is the trajectory of the numbers.


Canadian Provincial EV sales totals

Electric vehicle sales in Ontario led second quarter growth in 2017 with over 1,800 plug-in EVs rolling off dealer floors. That’s a 58% increase over Q1 ’17 numbers and more than double the Q1 ’16. This represents a seismic shift in sales numbers as the last time Ontario led Canada was the first quarter of 2013. For four years, Quebec has remained the undisputed leader of new EV sales.

Other Provinces which were already prone to EV adoption saw similar jumps in new EV sales. Quebec became home to over 1,800 new EVs as well which represents a 53% increase over the previous quarter and a 37% increase over Q2 of the previous year. British Columbia also saw the highest number of EVs sold in that province in Q2 of 2017. 850 new plug-in electric car sales in BC represents a 38% increase over the Q1 of 2017 and a 74% increase over Q2 of 2016.


Canadian EV Sales Q2 Conclusions

These sales numbers will be welcome news for electric vehicle owners or advocates. The conclusion from all data sources in Canada, the United States and around the world is that EV sales are increasing.

At the current rate of growth in the Canadian EV market, I’ll hazard a prediction for year-end 2017 sales. Being an optimist, I’d expect to see this years EV sales surpass 2016 totals by the end of September. Further, 2017 year end EV sales should sit somewhere around 40% over those of the previous year. This means one thing, your grin should be 40% wider than it was when you started reading this post.


Canadian EV Sales Q2 2017 Highlights:

  • 40 EV models are now available in Canada.
  • Approximately 37,000 EVs have been sold in Canada.
  • Q2 2017 EV sales totaled nearly 5,000.
  • Percent of PEV sales is 1.2% in Quebec and British Columbia and 0.7% in Ontario.
  • Percent of PEV sales is 0.7% on average for Canada.
  • Ontario sold more EVs than Quebec for the first time since 2013.
  • New model introductions include, Hyundai Ioniq BEV, Hyundai Ioniq PHEV, Kia Optima PHEV, Mini Cooper S E and Prius Prime.
  • The Chevrolet Bolt has moved to 6th most sold BEV.

Canadian EV Sales Q2 2017 Totals

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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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