The “lost” quarter? Canadian EV introductions hit a rough patch in Q3
Sep 2, 2021
Michael Bettencourt

Some of these EVs are now slated for Q4, but amidst widespread production delays, some have now been pushed to 2022 — and one of the most significant summer arrivals is no longer available, at least temporarily

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV (U.S. pre-production model shown)

Some of these battery electric vehicles are now slated for Q4, but amidst widespread production delays, some have now been pushed to 2022 — and one of the most significant summer arrivals is no longer available, at least temporarily

The hits to expected electric vehicle sales and introductions just keep on coming. The Nissan Ariya SUV, new luxury EV brand Lucid, the Volkswagen ID.4, and the new EV adventure truck brand Rivian were all planned to arrive in Canada in the third quarter of this year. Now? Not gonna happen.

Perhaps more significant than a delay of a few weeks or months — which has become common with vehicles of all types in this supply-challenged year — two of the most significant new battery electric vehicle (BEV) introductions in Canada of 2021, the redesigned Chevrolet Bolt and the Bolt EUV, have been temporarily pulled off the market.

A mid-August recall of the lowest priced BEV in Canada and its just-released larger EUV variant has put an effective stop-sale on 2022 and all used Bolt models at Chevrolet dealerships across the country.

All of which is making Q3 a bit of a dud when it comes to new battery electric vehicle launches in Canada.

Hopes rise for 2022

With automakers now working through the back half of the year and looking ahead to next, the tone of the industry seems to be that sunnier ways are ahead for the EV market.

GM’s Mary Barra stated recently that both GM and battery supplier LG are focused on the lessons to be learned with manufacturing of the Bolt and its batteries, while not specifying any time frame for how long the resolution is likely to take. GM has vowed to replace all affected battery modules for current Bolt owners and on 2022 models still at dealerships or awaiting delivery.

In other updates, the Nissan Ariya is now slated to arrive in the first half of 2022, Rivian’s site is saying November in Canada, while Lucid is still unconfirmed for Canada, but says first customer deliveries in the U.S. are now scheduled to begin after media tours of its Arizona factory later this month. And in an update that likely surprised few given Elon Musk’s comments throughout the year, Tesla confirmed in August that its Cybertruck pickup would not start production now until 2022.

Volkswagen ID.4
The Volkswagen ID.4

On the positive side of the ledger, the upcoming Volkswagen ID.4 only seems slightly delayed as of this writing, with its planned September launch now looking more like October. VW Canada has confirmed that the vehicle will arrive first in the provinces of Quebec and B.C. in the fall, followed by Ontario, then the rest of Canada in 2022.

On a much lower volume scale, Mazda Canada has just confirmed that its MX-30 all-electric compact crossover is slated to launch around the beginning of October, but only in B.C. and Quebec, and in limited volumes. Its $42,150 starting price (before taxes, freight and government rebates) won’t include a loaner program of a gas Mazda for up to 10 days per year — as Mazda is offering in the U.S. — but Canadian owners will receive a complimentary two-year or 32,000 kilometre scheduled maintenance plan instead. A gas-powered rotary range-extended version of the MX-30 is currently slated to be offered across Canada in 2022, the company confirmed.

New high-end vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan and the Audi Q4 e-Tron are currently on track for introductions to the Canadian market this fall as well. Plus, there are a few new variants of current models set to be introduced soon by the end of 2021: less expensive front-wheel drive versions of the Polestar 2, plus quicker and therefore more expensive GT Performance editions of the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

We’ll have more information and updated timing on all these models with a full fourth-quarter preview of what’s actually going to arrive in Canada before year end in the coming weeks.

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