Green Energy Futures from Canada recently took a look what is helping move EVs in The Great White North, with some interesting analysis.
In 2014, 0.27% of all vehicles sold were electric (or 1 out of 3o0 new cars sold in Canada), which doesn’t sound great, but it’s nearly a tenfold increase since 2010. Since 2010, a total of 11,000 EVs have sold in Canada. Leading the way is the Chevy Volt, with 4,023 sold, or 37% of all Canadian EVs. Second, is the Nissan Leaf, with 2,001 vehicles sold. And the Tesla Model S is third, with 1,580 presumably registered. Smart Electric Drive is fourth, with 811 cars sold. Mitsubishi i-MiEV rounds out the top five with 508 bought by consumers in 2014. The Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model S alone took 70% of Canada’s EV market.
Not surprisingly, Quebec and Ontario, two of Canada’s most populous provinces, lead the way in EV sales. Both provinces have friendly policies for electric vehicles. In Quebec, consumers can get a $8,000 rebate on the buy or lease of an EV, or $1,000 back on installing a charger at home. Ontario offers $8,500 back for leasing or buying an EV and a $1,000 rebate for consumers adding a residential charger.
However, despite some firm gains seen in Canada’s electric car sales, it still lags behind the US, as its market share is doubled. Approximately 1 out of 150 new cars sold in the US are EVs. The Chevy Volt tops all-time US EV sales with 73,757 units sold. Second is the Nissan Leaf, with 72,322. Nothing else is above 40,000.
Matthew Klippenstein, who tallied up Canada’s EV sales, said despite Canada’s small EV sales and lagging behind other EV markets, including the US and China, he is hopeful about the future.
Klippenstein said there’s much further growth potential in electric SUVs, minivans, and trucks, as manufacturers look to go beyond standard electric passenger cars. He said the next generation of EVs coming on tap will help make this market more accessible to the public.
Early indications are that the next Volt will be more mainstream. I expect the second-generation Nissan Leaf to do the same. This should help push EV sales substantially and keep us on the 50 per cent per year growth train that we’ve been on.
Demand incentives and infrastructure are of course key to make sure a future clean vehicle market is vital.
As mentioned earlier, Ontario and Quebec have shown that they are leading the way to get people considering EVs, via rebates and incentives. British Columbia’s rebate program recently expired, unfortunately. We’ll see if it comes back. Other provinces are slow to get on board. For example, while the province of Manitoba has a good site explaining the advantages of EVs, there are no incentives for buying a vehicle or a home charger.
Besides incentives, EV users need infrastructure for charging their cars if they are going to get around. Winnipeg, Manitoba, had its first ever public EV charger released at the Forks in May 2014. If Canada really wants to see its electric transportation market take off, critical investments in public charging stations are going to be needed. This should include utilizing inefficient use of parking lots, and installing solar EV charging stations where possible.
With Canadians expected to go to the polls federally and a few more provincial elections in the next few years (including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta), expect more talk to heat up about how to improve Canada’s flagging EV charging system and incentives for customers to boost sales.
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