Canadian auto registration data for Q3 2021 shows power of provincial incentives to drive EV adoption
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Nov 4, 2021
Emma Jarratt

IHS Markit’s report tells largely a good news story for Canada’s plug-in vehicle sector with battery EVs posting a significant year-over-year rise, but Ontario lags below national average

Third quarter data indicates growth in EV and Hybrid vehicle registrations across Canada, though Ontario still lags behind.

IHS Markit’s report tells largely a good news story for Canada’s plug-in vehicle sector with battery EVs posting a significant year-over-year rise, but Ontario lags below national average

The latest quarterly IHS Markit Automotive Insights report is out with some encouraging findings for Canada’s electric vehicle industry — with a second province nearly cracking the double-digit adoption ceiling (the first is B.C.) and some municipalities boasting adoption rates in the mid-teens.

Through the first three quarters of 2021, Canadian EV market share has remained steady at 5.3 per cent, meaning that this year one in 20 vehicles registered has been an EV.

In the third quarter of this year (Q3), British Columbia’s market share rose to 13 per cent, while in Quebec market share was 9.9 per cent — tantalizingly close to double-digit adoption. Ontario, which unlike either of those provinces does not offer any provincial EV sales incentives, is lagging well behind with just 3.1 per cent of market share. Yukon and Prince Edward Island, which do have incentives, ranked above the province at 4.7 and 4.1 per cent, respectively.

At a municipal level the difference is even more noticeable. Vancouver boasted an adoption rate at 15.6 per cent with Montreal following at nearly 11 per cent. Toronto limped behind at 4 per cent.

Electric Autonomy Canada also reports on quarterly registration data released by Statistics Canada. However, IHS’s Q3 data gives an early look at what can be expected from the government later this year. Some key differences in data tabulation may be present. For example, StatsCan does not receive registration data from Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Alberta and its registration data for B.C. includes the territories to protect privacy.

Potential methodology discrepancies aside, the IHS data supports the trends previously reported on by Electric Autonomy from the StatsCan data: EV adoption is seeing gains across Canada.

BEVs: impressive year-over-year growth

Comparing Q3 2021 to Q3 2020, there was an 18,055 jump — a 67 per cent increase — in registrations of battery electric vehicles across Canada. The three provinces making up the majority of those registrations are B.C., Quebec and Ontario.

B.C. remains Canada’s leader in adoption with zero emission vehicles (not including plug-in hybrids and hybrids) accounting for 12.3 per cent of light-duty vehicles for the year to date.

Overall, total volume of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), hybrid electric (HEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles registered decreased by 6.7 per cent in Q3 2021 compared to the second quarter. But so, too, did volume for internal combustion vehicles, sinking 7.7 per cent. Both drops, the IHS believes, are tied to supply chain challenges.

The top selling brands and types of passenger vehicles registered so far this year, according to the IHS report, are:

  • HEV: Toyota (13,058)
  • PHEV: Toyota (2,317)
  • BEV: Tesla (7,909)

IHS Markit’s Q3 report summary can be found here.

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