2023 Q3 S&P Global data hero image
According to data just released by S&P Global Mobility, registrations of battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles surged to 13.3 per cent in Canada in Q3 2023. Image: Electric Autonomy

One in eight vehicles registered in Canada in the third quarter of this year was either battery electric or a plug-in hybrid, according to data from S&P Global Mobility

If there’s a slowdown in the growth of electric vehicle sales, nobody told Canadian buyers.

According to data just released by S&P Global Mobility, registrations of battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles surged to 13.3 per cent in Canada in Q3 2023.

Not only is this another new record, but it’s a 2.7 percentage point jump over Q2’s 10.5 per cent ZEV market share, which was the previous all-time high.

2023 Q3 sales chart
Image: Electric Autonomy

Battery electric vehicles led the charge, accounting for 10.1 per cent of all new vehicles registered, up from 7.8 per cent in Q2. In unit terms, S&P Global says more than 42,000 BEVs were registered from July through September.

Market share for PHEV registrations also ticked up, hitting 3.2 per cent after a 2.7 per cent performance in Q2.

What makes this performance even more striking is that total registrations of all light-duty vehicles in Canada in Q3 2023 declined by 5.7 per cent, according to S&P Global. However, the volume of BEV registrations grew by 22.4 per cent, while PHEV volume increased by 11.1 per cent.

“This growth was largely driven by three models: the Tesla Model 3, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Ford F-150 Lightning,” writes S&P Global. “Tesla Model Y also made a significant contribution, maintaining its position as the best-selling BEV model in the country in the third quarter; despite its overall volume remaining flat quarter over quarter.”

(Note: S&P Global, like Statistics Canada, classifies BEVs and PHEVs as “zero-emission vehicles.” The grouping does not reflect Electric Autonomy‘s view, which considers only non-combustion engine vehicles to be zero-emission. However, where statistics in this report refer to ZEVs, we have adhered to the S&P Global definition for consistency.)

Provincial milestones

Among the provinces British Columbia not only continues to lead the country in EV adoption, but for the first time ZEV market share in that province topped one in four vehicles. According to S&P, 26.4 per cent of all vehicles registered were ZEVs.

In volume terms, this represented 24.1 per cent of all ZEVs registered in Canada in the quarter.

Quebec also reached a new benchmark, with ZEV registrations topping 20 per cent for the first time, at 22.8. It also leads the country in volume, with 40.4 per cent of all ZEV registrations in Canada coming from that province.

Ontario’s ZEV market share continues to lag the national average, at 8.7 per cent. However, this is still an increase from 7.2 per cent in Q2.

Yukon and Prince Edward Island both topped Ontario in terms of ZEV market share, hitting marks of 10.4 per cent and 9.3 per cent, respectively.

If there is one caveat to all of these strong numbers for ZEV registrations, it’s the fact that, in Q2, there was a wide discrepancy between S&P Global’s ZEV registrations data and that reported some time later by Statistics Canada. The difference in terms of overall ZEV market share in Q2 was 1.9 per cent (10.5 per cent according to S&P Global, 8.6 per cent as per Statistics Canada).

Electric Autonomy asked both organizations if there was some known difference in their methodologies, but we did not learn anything conclusive. For this reason, it will be important to watch and wait for Statistics Canada Q3 results coming later this year.

Zero-emission vehicles hit 10.5 per cent market share in Canada in Q2, an all-time high

1 comment
  1. Is this article implying that PHEVs are zero emission vehicles? I know some people do but they are sadly mistaken. According to studies done in Europe, less than half of PHEV owners ever bother plugging them in so the ICE engines are running and spewing emissions just like full ICE vehicles. Government incentives need to move away from supporting these vehicles as they are ICE vehicles primarily and with today’s EVs the very idea that they are some sort of “bridge” is nonsense.

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