Canada's 2021 full year EV sales data
Electric vehicle adoption continues to set milestones in Canadian automotive industry.

IHS Markit 2021 year-end report shows that zero-emission vehicles’ share of registrations in 2021 was a robust 5.6 percent, up from 3.8 per cent in 2020, as provinces with EV sales incentives led the way.

London-based consultancy IHS Markit’s year-end 2021 Automotive Insights report shows electric vehicle adoption in Canada is gathering steam, with electric vehicles — battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plus plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell (FCEVs)— making up 11.8 per cent of all vehicle registrations in 2021, an impressive leap from 7.6 per cent in 2020.

When it comes to zero-emission vehicles (all of the above less HEVs), the total was 5.6 per cent, or slightly more than one in 20 new cars registered. That’s an increase from 3.8 per cent in 2020 and slightly more than 3 per cent in 2019.

In real numbers, this means some 73,600 new EVs hit the road in Canada in 2021.

While HEVs made up the lion’s share of overall EV growth (a 6.21 per cent share of registrations in 2021 versus 3.82 per cent in 2020), new BEV registrations increased year-over-year by a respectable 51 per cent, reaching 20,197 new vehicles. In percentage terms, BEVs made up 3.79 per cent of all new vehicles registered in 2021, up from 2.68 per cent in 2020 and almost double 2019’s 1.96 per cent.

ZEV registrations show provincial disparities remain

IHS Markit’s research also includes a province-by-province breakdown of ZEV registrations. It shows that despite the encouraging growth rates nationally, growth is still unequally distributed provincially with incentives boosting adoption in British Columbia and Quebec to record highs.

B.C. continues to lead the way, with ZEVs accounting for 13 per cent of all light vehicles registered in that province in 2021. In absolute numbers, the province accounted for 28 per cent of all ZEVs registered in the country last year. Quebec was just shy of double-digit ZEV adoption, at 9.5 per cent, a gain of two percentage points year-over-year.

Ontario lagged below the national average. There, ZEVs made up only 3.3 per cent of the province’s vehicle registrations in 2021. But even without a provincial sales incentive, Ontario’s new ZEV registrations grew by an impressive 89 per cent from 2020, and the province was still home to 23 per cent of all 2021 ZEV registrations in Canada.

Other jurisdictions with purchase rebates saw healthy growth in new ZEVs, with registrations hitting 4.5 per cent in Yukon Territory (up from 1.7 per cent in 2020) and 2.9 per cent in Prince Edward Island (up from 0.8 per cent year-over-year).

In Alberta and Saskatchewan, which like Ontario do not have provincial ZEV purchase incentive schemes, year-over-year growth in ZEV’s share of registrations was more modest (one percentage point in Alberta and 0.7 of a point in Saskatchewan).

The report also points to the growing importance of fleets to the EV market, with new EV fleet registrations growing 36 per cent year-on-year, including a 58 per cent growth for BEVs.

IHS Markit’s full report can be found here.

EV registrations surge 25.7 per cent in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020 despite overall all-vehicle decline, StatsCan says