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Plug-in Electric Car Sales in Canada, June 2013

 

This past June marked the 20th year since a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup, a dry spell even longer than the country's last World Series title.

June also marked the Chevy Volt's 16th consecutive month atop the Canuck plug-in sales charts.

Thanks to a June sales surge, the car GM designed to leapfrog the Prius now represents about half of the country's year-to-date electric vehicle sales.

Chevy Volt: Sweet 16 (months at # 1)

Chevy Volt sales in June roughly doubled month-over-month, to 153 units from May's 77.  It's amazing what offering seven years of interest-free financing can do for sales, eh? 

These incentives helped the Volt achieve a year-over-year sales increase for the first time in four months--the June 2012 total was 118--though year-to-date sales of 471 still trail last year's total of 539. 

With the financing offer set to expire, we can reasonably expect July Volt sales to drop back to pre-incentive levels.

Volt vs Prius

Many observers know that while the Prius family easily dwarfs Volt sales volume in the United States, the Volt tracks slightly ahead of the Prius in its own first years on American shores -- though gas prices were obviously lower in real terms from 2000 to 2003. 

But it may be a surprise to learn that north of the 49th parallel, the Volt's June Canadian sales would have beaten the Prius liftback's Canadian sales as recently as this past February (the "original" Prius moved only 130 units here).

Acknowledging the effect of the Prius C and Prius V -- both of which outsell the classic Prius liftback in Canada -- and restricting ourselves to sales figures pre-dating the tragic March 2011 earthquake, the Volt's June achievement still surpasses the Prius liftback's Canadian sales over a number of months.

The Prius family's plug-in model achieved runner-up status in Canada in June, but its 18 sales were the lowest monthly total in calendar 2013.

Given that this was only a slight month-over-month drop (May: 22 units) it might be premature to attribute the change to the Volt incentives.

Nissan Leaf: a distant bronze

The Nissan Leaf tumbled into third place with a mere 13 sales in June, off from May's 31 and a long way from its incentive-assisted February peak of 82 units. 

The Leaf's sales in May and June were both calendar-year lows, but July might provide a modest turnaround, with the expected arrival of long-delayed 2013 model-year vehicles from the Tennessee factory.

2013 Nissan Leaf, Nashville area test drive, April 2013

2013 Nissan Leaf, Nashville area test drive, April 2013

Enlarge Photo

The Leaf did manage to squeak ahead of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which only recorded 11 sales, half its May number of 22. 

Among other prominent electric-car makers, Tesla remains mum and Ford doesn't separate out its plug-in Energi sales for the Fusion and C-Max models in the Canadian market.

Overall Canadian Plug-in Market

While American plug-in sales for 2013 should come reasonably close to doubling last year's number, year-over-year growth in the Canadian market looks to be in the 20-percent range, as detailed previously.

In the United States, plug-in sales have been boosted by rising those cars taking greater market share -- from about 0.36 percent to 0.50 percent -- on top of resurgent new-car sales, up about 7 percent over last year. 

Available data for Canada shows essentially steady market share (0.10 to 0.11 percent),layered on a more modestly growing new-car market that's up only 2 percent this year.

Finally, for you aspiring Jeopardy! contestants ... in June 1993 the Montreal Canadiens beat the Los Angeles Kings four games to one in the Stanley Cup Finals, while the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies four games to two, in the World Series--in October of that year.

Phrased in the form of a question, of course.

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Comments (2)
  1. We would have purchased a 2013 Nissan Leaf early this year had they been available. The grants are still available from the BC government, yet the cars apparently are not. I have also tried to find out when they will be available from the head office of Nissan. No reply. So where is Nissan on Vancouver Island? Even the Courtenay dealer hasn't a clue when a 2013 Leaf will be available but they had 2012 earlier this year. Nissan is not going to have my confidence in their Leaf at this rate.
     
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  2. A number of Nissan dealers have ordered their 2013 models and delivery is expected in end of July. I, too, am waiting for the 2013s to arrive before I order one. The better heater and faster charge are worth the wait. It's sad, however, that the Canadian market has been largely ignored by Nissan.
     
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