About one out of every 11 vehicles bought in Canada last quarter was a zero-emission vehicle, up almost a full percentage point compared to the same time last year.
S&P Global Mobility released first-quarter insights for the automotive industry recently. While year-over-year data shows overall increases, a quarter-by-quarter analysis shows a possible shifting trend as the trajectory moves upward.
Breaking the findings down by engine type, battery-electric vehicles accounted for almost 7 per cent of market share with total volume jumping by 19 per cent, S&P reported. Hybrids had an adoption rate of 8.7 per cent while plug-in hybrids had a share of 2.2 percent in the first quarter. The total number of ZEVs jumped by 18.2 per cent.
Internal combustion engines made up 82.2 per cent of the total share last quarter — a drop from 86.1 per cent reported in the first quarter of 2022.
However, when comparing S&P’s data from the first quarter of 2023 to the last of 2022, there has been a shift in which vehicles Canadians are moving towards. At the end of last year, BEVs had an 8.4 per cent share, hybrids had a 7.1 per cent adoption rate, while PHEVs were at 1.8.
So while year-over-year comparisons show growth across all segments, quarter-by-quarter analysis suggests Canadians are moving more towards a hybrid option.
Regionally, the two provinces offering rebates are leading the way for adoption. British Columbia, S&P reported, has the highest rate of electrification adoption with BEVs accounting for about 16 per cent of all new registrations in the province.
Quebec leads the way in total volume with 38.5 per cent of vehicle registrations being a zero-emission option.
S&P highlighted Ontario, noting that its market share of ZEVs stands at 6.2%. “ZEV volume in the province levelled off in Q1 ’23, only increasing by 17 per cent, making up 27.2% of all ZEV registrations in Canada. This is a substantial decrease from Q4 ’22 where the province made up a third of the new vehicles,” its analysis said.
B.C., Ontario and Quebec make up 92 per cent of the BEV market, S&P noted.
Looking ahead, S&P observed that 41 new BEV models are scheduled to be launched in the Canadian market in 2024.
“These new models aim to target various vehicle segments, including the introduction of new entrants in the light-duty pickup truck segment, which addresses specific challenges for adoption where product availability is lacking (e.g. GMC Sierra EV, Hummer EV and Chevy Silverado EV),” it said.
That means there will be a greater number of options for Canadian consumers, S&P added.