It’s raining new electric SUVs and the first ID.4s rolled onto Canadian dealership lots this week
Oct 14, 2021
Michael Bettencourt

Lucid and Rivian are still no-shows in Canada, but the ID.4 has arrived and later this fall the market will see key new electric vehicles by Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Mazda, plus refreshed Teslas

The Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV in Toronto

Lucid and Rivian are still no-shows in Canada, but the ID.4 has arrived and later this fall the market will see key new electric vehicles by Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Mazda, plus refreshed Teslas

After a choppy third quarter that was generally a swing and a miss when it came to new EV models, this fall will see a bevy of all-new, battery-electric vehicles hit the Canadian market, as well as two significantly refreshed Tesla offerings.

The highly anticipated Volkswagen ID.4 finally arrived in Quebec dealerships this week with roll out in B.C. to happen later this month and Ontario to follow, with national rollout to happen in the back half of 2022. In addition to the ID.4, its upscale Audi Q4 e-tron cousin, along with the Mazda MX-30 crossover will also available to Canadian customers by the end of the year.

At the higher end (six-figure price tags) of the EV market, Mercedes-Benz will also introduce its EQS luxury sedan to Canada, but only in its priciest long-range, all-wheel drive form, unlike in the U.S. Finally, the heavily revised Tesla Model S and Xs have started arriving for Canadian customers, complete with yoke steering wheels and no turn signal or wiper stalks.

But there are two further significant no-shows, from all-new, all-electric startups Lucid and Rivian. Both companies have had splashy press and customer drives in the U.S., although it’s looking increasingly doubtful that either of these companies will deliver vehicles to their eager Canadian customers this calendar year.

Amazon-backed Rivian looks the most likely to squeeze in deliveries of their electric SUV and electric pick up truck, having communicated on its consumer site that Canadian deliveries are slated to begin in November for the limited launch editions. It had stated originally that deliveries would begin in the third quarter of 2021, but judging by the lack of open Canadian retail outlets the November target may not be met.

Meanwhile, with the first Lucid luxury passenger vehicles expected to be delivered in the U.S. by late October, a PR representative from Lucid recently said, “it’s safer to say that Canadian deliveries will begin in 2022.”

It’s certainly possible that a few Rivian R1T pickups or Lucid Air models may filter into the country by year end, as suggested by some job postings that appeared for both companies in September for its Vancouver and Toronto operations. But whereas Rivian delivered its first U.S. consumer vehicles in late September, judging from these clues, actual customer deliveries in Canada for both it and Lucid are more likely in the first half of 2022.

All of which highlights that one cannot presume that what’s happening in the American EV market is also happening in Canada.

This rundown doesn’t cover incoming plug-in hybrid vehicles, but it’s worth noting that Hyundai’s PHEV versions of the Santa Fe and smaller Tucson crossovers have beaten its highly anticipated IONIQ 5 all-electric sibling to market. The IONIQ 5 is now slated for Q1 2022, as is its Kia EV6 cousin.

In the latest update to Electric Autonomy Canada‘s quarterly EV Tracker, here is a comprehensive list of the new fully electric vehicles set to arrive in Canada for Q4, in roughly the order of expected eventual sales volume.

Volkswagen ID.4

The Volkswagen ID.4 was delivered to U.S. customers earlier this year. VW Canada originally wanted to wait until all-wheel drive models were available, but has conceded now that it will be rear-wheel drive 201 horsepower models that arrive first for B.C. and Quebec drivers in October, followed by Ontario by the end of the year and the rest of the country in the second half of 2022.

All Canadian models will come with a heated steering wheel and heat pump and have an 82 kWh battery at launch, and will be rated for roughly 400 kilometres of range (EPA ratings suggest 402 to 418 km). All-wheel drive models will offer a more energetic 300 hp, and likely a slight reduction in range. With DC fast charging at up to 125 kW, it can go from five to 80 per cent charged in roughly 38 minutes. 

But the most surprising aspect of the ID.4 is that VW Canada managed to price its base model at $44,995, which likely helped trigger price decreases for EVs like the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Kona EV for 2022. This starting price makes all versions of the ID.4 eligible for the $5,000 federal EV rebate, which is rare for a vehicle of the ID.4’s size, charging speeds and refinement.

Audi Q4 e-tron

Audi's e-tron
Audi’s 2022 Q4 e-tron. Photo: Audi

Starting at $59,950 for the 2022 Q4 e-tron, the vehicle comes with standard all-wheel drive, and seems a remarkable value as well when you look at the price of a loaded VW ID.4 with all-wheel drive. But there are no federal rebates, a weighty $2,550 freight and PDI charge, plus top models come in just under $70,000, which is Tesla Model Y starting price territory. It’s rated at 388 km of range and charging speeds are expected to closely resemble the ID.4’s numbers.

The Q4 e-tron will come with two years of free, unlimited DC fast charging at Electrify Canada charging stations, with a minimum of one-hour intervals between 30-minute charge sessions. Interestingly, the less expensive VW ID.4 will offer three years of free Electrify Canada charging, once again underlying the ID.4’s value proposition.

The Q4 e-tron will also come in coupe-like Sportback version as well as the classic. Sportback offers a sloping and less boxy rear roofline, but with less rear-seat headroom and cargo space.

Mazda MX-30

Sideview of Mazda's MX-30 charging in a city.
Mazda MX-30. Photo: Mazda

With only 161 km of rated range, the Mazda MX-30 crossover enters the market in October as the lowest range all-electric, new highway-capable EV on the market, with availability only in B.C. and Quebec at launch: the two provinces with ZEV mandates. It will start at $42,150, which puts it in amongst the five least expensive new BEVs available in Canada, but notably higher than the much longer-range Chevrolet Bolt EUV rival crossover, which is slated to go back on sale by the end of the year after a major battery recall.

The MX-30 offers a small 35.5 kWh battery, with relatively slow 50 kW DC charging that Mazda says can fast charge from 20 to 80 percent in 38 minutes. It offers rear butterfly doors, similar to Mazda’s dearly departed RX-8 rotary sports car, which can only open when the front doors are open.

Mazda is offering Canadian owners two years or 32,000 km of scheduled maintenance and range extender engine is slated to be added in 2022, before the MX-30 is offered in other parts of the country.

Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 S 4MATIC

In Canada, Mercedes-Benz is launching its all-new EQS sedan as a luxury flagship model. Its $144,200 starting price puts it roughly $20,000 higher than the “entry-level” Mercedes S-Class sedan in Canada and slightly higher than the gas-powered S 580 all-wheel drive long-wheelbase sedan.

The EQS is related to the new S-Class, but built on a unique platform, says Mercedes-Benz about the sleek, full-size all-wheel drive electric four-door. It will be available closer to the end of the year, and is rated at roughly 700 km of range.

The company claims it is the most aerodynamic vehicle in the world, with a co-efficient of drag of just 0.20 (anything less than 0.30 is admirable). It will offer DC charging speeds of up to 200 kW, and will also offer rear-wheel drive and AMG versions (Mercedes speak for high performing vehicles) in the future. Mercedes says they are targeting Q1 2022 for delivery to Canada.

Tesla Model S and X

The Tesla Model S and X sport utility models are clearly not all-new, but both have undergone arguably their most extensive update yet — what would likely be called a generation change by most OEMs. The 2021 models boast a refreshed interior look — including Tesla’s yoke-style steering wheel and three screens now in the vehicle — and slight changes to the exterior body and wheels.

The revised vehicles began appearing in Canadian showrooms in late September, months after U.S. customers received their first deliveries. A current starting price of roughly $114,000 for the Model S provides a much lower entry price than the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQS rival, but also a much less luxurious interior.

There is little inventory in Canada right now for the Tesla Model S and X and delivery dates into late spring 2022 (May and June). So while a few may have arrived, supply right now seems tight for both.

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