EV registrations surge 25.7 per cent in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020 despite overall all-vehicle decline, StatsCan saysNews
Jan 26, 2022
Emma Jarratt

Year-over-year new battery electric vehicle registrations in Canada were up a noteworthy 25.7 per cent in Q3 2021 versus Q3 2020, according to just-released data from Statistics Canada, despite an 8.2 per cent drop in total vehicle registrations

New registrations for electric vehicles continues to rise despite overall lagging automotive industry performance.

Year-over-year new battery electric vehicle registrations in Canada were up a noteworthy 25.7 per cent in Q3 2021 versus Q3 2020, according to just-released data from Statistics Canada, despite an 8.2 per cent drop in total vehicle registrations

It was a good news quarter for electric vehicles registrations across Canada in Q3 2021, despite a sluggish sales period overall in the auto industry.

Data released today from Statistics Canada shows this country recorded 15,845 new battery electric vehicle registrations from July through September last year — a slight drop from an all-time high of 16,167 in Q2 2021 — but an overall increase from 12,601 BEV registrations in Q3 2020, a 25.7 per cent gain.

The gain were even larger for hybrid electric vehicle, increasing 61.7 per cent, while plug-hybrid electric vehicle registrations surged 72.8 per cent.

The picture was starkly different for combustion vehicles. Gas-powered vehicles saw a 15.9 per cent decline comparing Q3 2021 to Q3 2020, while diesel vehicles saw a 26.1 per cent drop between the same quarters.

In terms of overall passenger vehicle market share, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) represented 3.4 per cent of total registrations, up one-tenth of point over Q2 2021.

Total zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) registrations (including hybrids) account for 9.9 per cent of new vehicle registrations in Canada for the first three quarters of 2021 and compared to 5.8 per cent for the first three quarters of 2020.

Province by province

At a more localized level, every province saw higher numbers of ZEVs registered in Q3 2021 compared to the year before. Of the territories that provide data, only Northwest Territories saw a drop. Quebec posted the largest increase in number of ZEV vehicles (1,993 new registrations), but Prince Edward Island saw the largest percentage increase (229.6 per cent more ZEV registrations).

StatsCan notes that, like in previous registration reports, data for Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Alberta is unavailable at the provincial level, but is included in the national total.

The percentage changes in BEV-only registrations (Q3 2021 versus Q3 2020) and actual Q3 registrations for each reporting province and territory were as follows:

  • British Columbia: 28.9 per cent (1,216 new registrations)
  • Saskatchewan: 34.3 per cent (24 new registrations)
  • Manitoba: 34.4 per cent (32 new registrations)
  • Ontario: 35.9 per cent (1,117 new registrations)
  • Quebec: 7.5 per cent (1,993 new registrations)
  • New Brunswick: 105.6 per cent (94 new registrations)
  • Prince Edward Island: 116.5 per cent (53 new registrations)
  • Yukon: 100 per cent (six new registrations)
  • Northwest Territories: -40 per cent (two new registrations)

Compared to Q2 2021, only Quebec, Ontario and Yukon saw a drop in the absolute number of new BEV registrations.

Gas on the way out?

Especially notable in the StatsCan vehicle registration data is the story it is telling about the decline of ICE vehicles and vehicles overall.

In 2020, ICE vehicles accounted for 93.8 per cent of all new passenger vehicle registrations in Canada — 1,449,697 in total. And before that, in 2017, they were 97.9 of all new passenger registrations (1,995,414 vehicles).

So far, in 2021, ICE vehicles account for 90.1 per cent of passenger vehicle registrations with 780,756 new vehicles. Ontario still accounts for the most new ICE registrations in Canada followed by Quebec and British Columbia.

In 2017, total new vehicle registrations in Canada (including all fuel types) were 2,039,231. For 2021, up to and including Q3, that overall registration number for all vehicles of all fuel types is 1,309,033.

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