Battery electric vehicle registrations in Canada hit a record high in Q1 2022, StatsCan reports
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Jul 25, 2022
Emma Jarratt

The market share of battery-electric vehicles hit 5.8 per cent in Q1 of 2022, while all zero-emission vehicles (battery electrics and plug-in hybrids) made up 7.7 per cent of new registrations, Statistics Canada reports in its latest data release

The market share of battery-electric vehicles hit 5.8 per cent in Q1 of 2022, while all zero-emission vehicles (battery electrics and plug-in hybrids) made up 7.7 per cent of new registrations, Statistics Canada reports in its latest data release

Electric vehicle registrations posted a big leap forward in the first quarter of 2022, with the highest number of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) registered in a single quarter, the latest data from Statistics Canada show.

Quarter-on-quarter, ZEV registrations (battery electrics and plug-in hybrids combined) per StatsCan data jumped 1.5 per cent, hitting 7.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, up from 6.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2021.

For just BEVs alone, the national adoption rate for Q1 2022 hit 5.8 per cent, a sizeable increase from the 4.2 per cent recorded in Q4 of 2021.

Dramatic surge

The strong increase in BEV registrations in the latest quarter also helped power an even more dramatic surge year-on-year. Despite an overall decline in the number of vehicles registered in Canada in Q1 2022 compared to Q1 2021, 55.2 per cent more battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) were registered this year from January 1 through March 31 than in the same period last year.

“New registrations of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) represented 7.7% of all new motor vehicles registered in the first quarter. Of these 26,018 new zero-emission vehicle registrations, 75.7% were battery electric vehicles and 24.3% were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles,” according to StatsCan’s summary of the data.

StatsCan’s latest release also corroborates a similar trend reflected in registration data for the same period published earlier by the consulting firm IHS Markit.

A comparison between IHS Markit data and StatsCan data tracking new vehicle registrations in Canada by quarter and year. Source: Electric Autonomy Canada

StatsCan places both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in its “zero-emission vehicle” category. This grouping does not reflect Electric Autonomy Canada‘s view, which considers only non-combustion engine vehicles to be zero-emission. Where statistics refer to ZEVs, we have adhered to StatsCan’s definition for consistency.

BEVs on the road

The majority of Canada’s new BEVs in Q1 2022 (93.1 per cent) were registered in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. However, nearly all provinces saw an increase in registrations since Q4 2021. According to StatsCan data only Saskatchewan had slightly fewer BEV registrations in Q1 2022 than Q4 2021.

(Note: StatsCan doesn’t publish estimates for Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Alberta because of “contractual limitations of the existing data sharing agreement.” However, they are included in its national total. Estimates for British Columbia include the territories.)

Of the 19,695 new BEVs were registered in the first quarter of this year. Of those, 7,522 registrations occurred in Quebec, 5,688 in Ontario and 5,385 in B.C.

In a breakdown, the new registrations of BEVs in Q1 2022 compared to all new registrations in the province show B.C. at 12.5 per cent, Quebec nearing double digits at 9.2 per cent, and Ontario at 4.2 per cent.

RegionBattery Electric
Vehicles (BEVs)
All VehiclesBEVs as %
of Total Sales
British Columbia5,38543,23712.45%
Prince Edward Island311,0213.03%
New Brunswick936,8741.35%
New battery-electric vehicle registrations compared to total number of vehicles registered, nationally and by province (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Alberta excluded due to contractual limitations; B.C. data includes the territories). Source: Statistics Canada

In terms of ZEVs, while a complete set of local data is not available for Q1 2022, the StatsCan summary did specify that, “in the first quarter, Montréal (6,260) was the census metropolitan area with the highest number of new ZEV registrations, followed by Vancouver (5,035) and Toronto (4,176).”

Trends in fuel source and vehicle type

As the number of ZEVs in Canada rises, the number of combustion engine vehicles is declining, the StatsCan data show.

Of total new registrations in the first quarter of this year, “[n]ew gasoline powered vehicles posted the largest decline, with 13.2% fewer new registrations in 2022, followed by diesel-powered vehicles, down 11.8%” compared to Q1 2021.

Multi-purpose vehicles made up the most new vehicle registrations in Canada in Q1 2022 (56.9 per cent), while vans and pickup trucks saw double digit declines compared to Q1 2021. Passenger cars saw a 8.7 per cent decline Q1 2022 to Q1 2021.

For the new BEVs registered in Q1 2022: 10,229 were multi-purpose vehicles, 9,396 were passenger vehicles, 69 were vans and one was a pickup truck.

There was just one new alternative fuel vehicle registered in Canada in Q1 2022.

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