Zero-emission vehicle registrations reached 12.1 per cent, gaining more than two percentage points of market share, according to Statistics Canada
The market share of new zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) registrations in Canada surged to a new all-time high in Q3 2023, according to data from Statistics Canada.
After reaching 9.9 per cent of the market in Q2 — a decent jump after a sluggish first quarter share of just 8.6 per cent — new ZEV registrations in the latest quarter surged to 12.1 per cent.
In percentage terms, the 22.2 per cent increase is one of the biggest quarterly leaps in ZEV market share seen to date in Canada.
“BEVs [battery electric vehicles] constituted 76.0% of all new ZEV registrations in the third quarter of 2023, while PHEVs [plug-in hybrid electric vehicles] made up the remaining 24.0%,” reads the report.
Specifically, BEV registrations in Q3 were 9.2 per cent of the overall new light-duty vehicle market, up from 7.3 per cent in Q2.
(StatsCan 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 below refer to ZEVs, we have adhered to StatsCan’s definition for consistency.)
The total number of all vehicles registered in Q3 across Canada was 457,836. On a numbers basis, there are 42,260 BEV registrations in Q3 2023 — up from 34,610 in Q2.
In the first nine months of 2023, there are over 100,600 BEV units registrations, for a total average 7.8 per cent market share.
ZEV registration epicentres
“In the third quarter, Canada’s three largest provinces accounted for 91.2% of all new ZEV registrations,” reads StatsCan’s data analysis.
The highest percentage of ZEV registrations are in British Columbia and the Territories (23.2 per cent or 10,810 units), Quebec (20.2 per cent or 17,101 units) and Ontario (8.2 per cent or 11,355 units).
One in five vehicles registered in Quebec is now a ZEV.
Overall, every province saw an increase in the number of ZEV registrations. As with previous StatsCan reports, no breakout data for Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador is available (due to contractual restrictions), but the registration numbers for those provinces appears in the national total.
StatsCan’s new data may come as a surprise to many — especially when contrasted with recent less-than-rosy auto industry commentary about EVs.
Major OEMs from Ford to General Motors made announcements throughout the fall about scaling back their EV production targets. Often the cause was cited to be lower demand than anticipated.
Industry critics and commentators said despite the gloomy forecasts by automakers, data was showing that ZEV demand was rising.
These latest results also align closely with Canadian market estimates published previously by S&P Global Mobility, whose Q3 report pegged Canadian ZEV registrations at 13.3 per cent.
Among vehicle types, StatsCan’s data shows multipurpose vehicles are the most frequently bought ZEVs in Q3, followed by passenger cars, pickup trucks and vans.
Overall passenger vehicle registrations are falling across vehicles of all fuel types, while overall vans saw the most new registrations in Q3.
Editor’s Note: The headline and details in this story were revised on Dec. 14 to correct an error in the quarterly ZEV market share percentage change and the Q2 ZEV market share percentage. Statistics Canada revised its Q2 data after the original data release and our initial version of this story did not reflect this.