Plug-in Electric Car Sales in Canada, October 2015: The Wallet Ballot


During the same month in which a second-generation Trudeau won the Canadian election, the second-generation Chevy Volt took the plug-in electric vehicle sales crown.

The new model helped Chevrolet sell 203 Volts in Canada in October, well above the 126 sold in September and good enough for its third sales crown in four months.

It was the Volt's highest total since April 2014 (222 units)--when oil still cost $100 / barrel--and a bellwether Chevy dealership reported "effervescent" demand for the new car.

DON'T MISS: U.S. Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Oct: New Volt Surges, Old Leaf Flat

The Nissan Leaf continued its steady pace, notching 113 sales, roughly even with the past half-year's monthly average sales.

Given that the model year 2016 Leaf (with optional 30-kWh battery) went on sale in October, this might be a modest disappointment.

On the upside, the Leaf looks set to surpass its 2014 sales totals despite the lower price of gasoline, thanks to the return of incentives in British Columbia, where the Leaf is particularly popular.

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, October 2015

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, October 2015

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As for Tesla, registration records show that 255 Model cars piloted themselves onto Canadian roads in September.

This was a new Canadian monthly sales record, narrowly beating the previous marks the automaker had set in March (250) and June (242).

The splendid September not only allowed the Model S to top the Chevy Volt's annual sales record (1,544 to 1,521) but helped set a Canadian record for plug-in electric vehicle sales in a single month (we estimate them at around 750) and share of market (0.43 percent).

ALSO SEE: Electric-Car Range: The More You Have, The More You Use, Canadian Data Shows

Heading into November, the Canadian plug-in electric vehicle segment has topped 5,100 sales, edging past its year-ago sales record in the process.

Moving to other automakers, BMW sold 41 i-series vehicles in October, down from the roughly 80 i3s and i8s it sold in September, and Mitsubishi moved another 9 i-MiEVs--the same number as in the U.S., a vastly larger market.

As usual, the manufacturers refuse to provide sales data for the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, the Ford C-Max Energi, and the Ford Fusion Energi.

2016 Ford Fusion Energi

2016 Ford Fusion Energi

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To quote a Ford representative:

"I have looked into this and unfortunately we are not inclined to provide this level of detail for Canada. The numbers are very small, as you might imagine."

September registration data & round-up

Kia sold 40 Soul EVs in September, its third-straight month at that level, narrowly beating the 39 Smart ForTwo Electric Drives sold by Mercedes-Benz.

MORE: Plug-in Electric Car Sales In Canada, Sept 2015: Triple-Triple

Smart sales were down by about half from August, in an expected decline; sales for the two-door ForTwo are highly seasonal.

Ford and Chevy sold one each of the Focus Electric and Spark EV. We are now tracking the Porsche Cayenne S-E Hybrid too, with 24 sales in September.

Between them, the expensive Model S, Cayenne S-E Hybrid, and i8 accounted for about 40 percent of Canadian plug-in electric vehicle sales in September.

2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, 2014 Paris Auto Show

2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, 2014 Paris Auto Show

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This may raise justifiable questions about the need for electric-vehicle rebates.

But it should also be seen as further confirmation of buyers' willingness to give up gas (in whole or in part) in favour of a superior driving experience.

Finally, Canadian electric vehicle advocates can look at the election of Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party with cautious optimism--and not just for the party's promise to install charging stations at government buildings.

We'll have more on that topic shortly.

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