Zero-emission vehicles hit 10.5 per cent market share in Canada in Q2, an all-time high
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Aug 25, 2023
Brian Banks

Substantial growth in overall unit volume was the quarter’s other big story, with battery electric vehicle registrations up 46.3 per cent

Substantial growth in overall unit volume was the quarter’s other big story, with battery electric vehicle registrations up 46.3 per cent

The market share of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) registrations in Canada hit a record 10.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2023, according to data just published by S&P Global Mobility.

The increase is a sharp jump from Q1 when the combined market share of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) was just 9.1 per cent. The Q2 result is also slightly higher than the previous peak of 10.2 per cent, recorded in Q4 of 2022.

Both BEVs and PHEVs helped power the increase in Q2. Battery electric vehicles accounted for 7.8 per cent of all new vehicle registrations, up from 6.9 in Q1. PHEV registrations, meanwhile, increased to 2.7 per cent from 2.2 per cent in Q1.

2023 Q2 S&P Global sales chart

Volume up strongly

The unit data tells an even bigger story. While Q2 was a strong quarter for all light-duty vehicle registrations (up 34.3 per cent over Q1), BEVs saw a massive 46.3 per cent increase, with nearly 35,000 vehicles registered. Tesla’s Model Y led the way.

PHEVs saw an even larger 77.8 per cent increase in total registrations compared to Q1.

“The increased adoption of BEVs was driven primarily by two factors: firstly, Tesla’s Model Y led the way with a remarkable growth of 6,487 units, and secondly, the availability of provincial or federal Zero Emission Vehicle incentives played a role, with eligible vehicles outselling non-eligible vehicles at a ratio of 4:1 (3.7:1 in Q1),” says S&P Global, in its Canadian Automotive Insights report.

(Note: S&P Global, like Statistics Canada, classifies BEVs and PHEVs as “zero-emission vehicles.” The grouping does not reflect Electric Autonomy‘s view, which considers only non-combustion engine vehicles to be zero-emission. However, where statistics in this report refer to ZEVs, we have adhered to the S&P Global definition for consistency.)

Quebec surging among provinces

British Columbia continued to lead all provinces in ZEV market share, with ZEVs making up 20.5 per cent of all registrations in Q2, up from 19.7 per cent in Q1.

However, Quebec is now running a close second. ZEV market share in that province hit 18.4 per cent in Q2, up substantially from the 15.5 per cent share in Q1.

According to S&P Global, “at its current growth rate, [Quebec] is poised to surpass British Columbia’s market share by the end of the upcoming year.”

On a national volume basis Quebec was significantly ahead, accounting for 40.5 per cent of total ZEV registrations in Q2. B.C. was second with 31.9 per cent, while Ontario took third with 28.0 per cent of total registrations.

On a ZEV market share basis Ontario ranked fourth in Canada, at 7.2 per cent, which is below the national average. Taking third spot was Yukon, with a 7.7 per cent share.

Every province and territory saw ZEV market share increases in Q2 with the exception of Nova Scotia, which held steady at 3.6 per cent.

Alberta’s ZEV market share was 3.8 per cent in Q2. Given that the province accounted for 11.9 per cent of overall light-duty vehicle registrations, S&P Global flags its relatively low ZEV market share as “a salient challenge” to widespread national ZEV adoption that “necessitates focused attention.”

S&P Global also updated slightly its ZEV market share forecasts. It now expects to see ZEVs making up 13 per cent of market share by the end of 2023, rising to 17 per cent in 2024.

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