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ZEV Sales in Canada on the upswing but not yet on pace with British Columbia

By Blair Qualey
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The market share of zero-emission light-duty ZEVs vehicle in Canada hit 9.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2022, an all-time high that shatters the previous best quarterly result of 8.3 per cent, recorded in Q1 last year. Photo courtesy the New Car Dealers Association

By Blair Qualey

The latest report by S&P Global Mobility demonstrates that zero emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption is catching on in Canada, although not to the same extent as it is here in BC where this province continues to be a leader.

The market share of zero-emission light-duty ZEVs vehicle in Canada hit 9.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2022, an all-time high that shatters the previous best quarterly result of 8.3 per cent, recorded in Q1 last year.

So how does Canada stack up against other developed countries? According to findings published by BloombergNEF, between January to June 2022, global ZEV sales hit 4.3 million, a 7 per cent increase over 2021. 56 per cent of global sales were made in China, 28 per cent in Europe, and 11 per cent in the United States.

Based on the data, for every eight vehicles sold world-wide through the first two quarters of last year, nearly one of those was a ZEV. Over that same period, Canada’s proportion was roughly one EV for every fourteen new vehicles bought in the first half of 2022, with 55,600 EVs sold in the first half of last year.

The market share of ZEV registrations in Canada’s three largest cities in Q3 saw Vancouver at 21.7 per cent, Montreal at 15.4 per cent and Toronto at 8.6 per cent.

By province, British Columbia continued to lead the country, with ZEVs making up one in five light vehicles registered in Q3 (19.9 per cent) last year. That’s up from 15.6 per cent in Q2 and the province’s previous high of 17.1 per cent in Q1.

It should be noted that these positive results also came during a period in which the auto industry was continuing to experience significant supply chains issues – so from that perspective the sky is the limit.

Today, there are more than 85,000 zero emission vehicles registered in BC, the vast majority of those purchased with the benefit of the Clean BC Go Electric Passenger Vehicle Rebate Program which the NCDA administers on behalf of the provincial government.

On the charging side, there are more than 3,000 public charging stations in BC, including more than 750 that are fast charging. We are heartened by the provincial government’s goal to complete the provincial Electric Highway by 2024 and 10,000 public EV charging stations by 2030. Progress is being made but clearly, more must be done, especially in our rural and remote areas where access to charging stations is limited, and as a result, adoption has been modest.

The transition to a clean and sustainable economy has been accelerating over the last decade, and an ongoing commitment to address key factors will be important, if BC is to meet the provincial target that would see all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales are ZEVs by 2035.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca





 
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