2016 Chevrolet Volt, Catskill Mountains, NY, Dec 2015Enlarge Photo
Chevy's 102 Volt sales may have led the Canadian plug-in electric vehicle market in February, and bring its national total to 5,611 units.
As it happens, this is a mere 103 units away from Nolan Ryan's major league baseball strikeout record of 5,714.
Up slightly from January's 94 sales, this was also the plug-in hybrid Volt's best-ever February in Canada, easily surpassing the 38 sold a year ago.
While the Nissan Leaf electric car also surpassed its year-ago sales in February (also 38 vehicles) Nissan only sold 51 units, its lowest in twelve months.
With the refreshed Volt and a deeper field of battery-electric vehicle competitors, there's a risk the company could face its first year-over-year sales decline this year--though with only two months gone, it may be far too early to predict doom and gloom for the world's most popular electric car.
BMW's sales of its i-series vehicles held at 40 in February, roughly even with January's numbers. (The company doesn't separately break out i3 and i8 sales in Canada.)
Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, February 2016Enlarge Photo
Mitsubishi sold another 8 i-MiEV battery-electric minicars in February--more than the 5 sold in the U.S. last month.
While the little electric kei car has struggled to click with North American car buyers, sales should pick up with the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid arriving in Canada this summer.
Finally, Cadillac added a hat trick of (three) ELR range-extended electric luxury coupes.
As usual, the maker of the Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi no longer provides sales figures for the pair of plug-in hybrids.
Quoting 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."
Better call Soul
Turning to prior-month vehicle registration data for January, Kia sold 49 Soul EVs to open the year, up from 38 in December.
Demand for the square-cut battery-electric hatchback seems steady, with an average of more than 40 monthly sales since July.
2016 Kia Soul EVEnlarge Photo
The Soul EV even edged past the Tesla Model S, which sold an uncharacteristically low 47 vehicles in January, down from December's 224 units.
Given Tesla's vehicle allocations, some drop-off is expected in the first month of a quarter. January's figures may have been exacerbated by Tesla's apparent clear-out of older loaners/demo cars late last year, the net effect of which might have pulled sales forward from January into December.
And despite Quebecer Sylvain Juteau (of Roulez Electrique) winning the North American Tesla referral contest, no Tesla Model Xes appeared in vehicle registration records as of January.
The Audi A3 eTron did appear however, selling a healthy 40 units, or about one of every five A3s sold in Canada.
This was an improvement over the 24 sold in December, and about equal with BMW's i-series sales. (BMW sold one X5 xDrive40 plug-in hybrid SUV in Canada in January as well.)
With Audi brand-mate Porsche selling 18 Cayenne S-E Hybrids in January—about one of four Cayennes sold that month, though the long term proportion is around one in 10—VW Group looks to be comfortably ahead of its German rivals in the electric segment.
2016 Audi A3 e-tron SportbackEnlarge Photo
For its part, Mercedes-Benz sold one unit of the highly-seasonal Smart Electric Drive. Its flagship S 550e plug-in hybrid large luxury sedan will arrive in July, and may raise its fortunes.
Finally, Ford sold another three Focus Electrics and one more Chevy Spark EV drove onto Canadian roads in January.