We know EV sales declined slightly in the US last year, but how are things going with EV sales for our neighbor to the north? According to FleetCarma, Canadian sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars were up 32% over 2014. Is that good? As with all things that involve numbers, it depends. EV sales rose 67% in both 2013 and 2014.
Tesla led all other manufacturers, posting a sales gain of 137% in 2015. The Nissan LEAF saw a 23% gain, while sales of the Chevy Volt fell 8%. That last statistic is no doubt due to Chevrolet announcing in January, 2015 that a new and improved Volt was on the way. Even though the new Volt started showing up in 10 US states last September, cars for the Canadian market won’t find their way north of the border until April at the earliest.
FleetCarma reports there were 18,451 cars with plugs in Canada at the end of 2015. 54% are battery electrics and 46% are plug-in hybrids. The Volt is still the largest selling EV in Canada but the Tesla Model S is rapidly gaining ground. The LEAF, the Model S, and the Volt account for 72% of all EV sales in the country. It will be interesting to see how the second generation Volt and the LEAF with the upgraded 30 kWh battery perform once both are generally available.
Nationwide, Quebec has 46% of all EVs in Canada, but British Columbia and Ontario both have beefed up their EV incentive programs recently. In BC, the increase in EV sales has been dramatic, although final figures for 2015 are still not available
In Ontario, the new incentive program boosts the maximum benefit to $14,000 — provided the battery is over 16 kWh, the car has at least 5 seats, and the total rebate doesn’t exceed 30% of the MSRP. There is a catch, however. If the sale price of a car is between $75,000 and $150,000, the rebate is capped at $3,000.
That will effect Tesla buyers the most. The Tesla Model S that received a $8,500 rebate last year now gets only $3,000. However, the Chevy Volt is eligible for $11,877, apparently because Ontario doesn’t consider it a real 5 passenger automobile. The new Chevy Bolt will qualify for the full rebate of $14,000. That’s almost enough to make it worth moving to Ontario and buying a Bolt when President Trump takes office.
Graph via FleetCarma.com