Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, Jan 2017: Volt on top again


The Chevrolet Volt continued its reign on top of the Canadian electric-vehicle sales charts for the tenth consecutive month in January.

The plug-in hybrid Volt's 256 sales obliterated the prior January record of 99 Tesla Model Ses from two years ago this month.

Chevy Bolt EV sales began at the end of last month as well, contributing another 6 sales to General Motors' plug-in electric total.

DON'T MISS: U.S. plug-in electric car sales for Jan: Bolt EV over 1,100 in second month

Nissan sold 65 Leafs to start the New Year, down slightly from 75 in December and 83 in November.

Those numbers do not include estimated used vehicle imports, which were of the same magnitude: 71 in December and 104 in November.

If January followed a similar trend, well over 100 new and used Leafs could have been added to the Canadian auto fleet in January.

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, January 2017

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, January 2017

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The popularity of used Leafs may be due to relatively modest prices owing to their high depreciation. The fact that manufacturers can earn ZEV credits for sales of used electric vehicles in Quebec could also be a factor.

Mitsubishi sold another 6 i-MiEVs in Canada in January, while BMW sold a further 30 i-series vehicles.

Once again, their makers refused to provide sales data for the Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi, and Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid. As conveyed by a Ford representative: "I have looked into this and unfortunately we are not inclined to provide this level of detail for Canada."

CHECK OUT: Plug-in Electric Car Sales in Canada, Dec 2016: cresting Everest

"The numbers are very small, as you might imagine."

Sales estimates for these vehicles for 2016 nonetheless exist, building on Quebec sales data sourced by the province's electric vehicle association (AVEQ) and extrapolating for the rest of the country.

The Ford C-Max Energi most likely sold a bit less than 300 units last year, with the Fusion Energi at about half that level, and the Hyundai Sonata PHEV sales most probably in the ballpark of 30 units.

First 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV in Canada (photo by owner Joe Winkfein)

First 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV in Canada (photo by owner Joe Winkfein)

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December registration roundup

December is estimated to have seen 1,093 plug-in electric vehicle sales in Canada, a total which includes used imports of 71 Nissan Leafs, 3 Chevy Volts, and 14 Fiat 500e minicars, all of the latter in British Columbia.

Despite being far below September's 1,298 plug-in sales, December set a new electric-vehicle market-share record of 0.87 percent.

With recently strengthened incentives in Ontario and British Columbia, and the arrival of the Chevy Bolt EV and Toyota Prius Prime, plug-in electric vehicle market share may be able to top 1 percent this year, at least in some months.

IMPORTANT: Quebec passes Canada's first zero-emission vehicle rule, to start in 2018

On an annual basis, about 11,100 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in Canada in 2016, up from 6,900 in 2015. Plug-in market share rose commensurately from 0.36 percent to 0.57 percent.

Tesla sold 146 Model Ses in December, its lowest sales in a quarter-ending month since the 123 in December 2014. While this was enough to push cumulative Canadian Model S sales past 5,000, annual sales were down by about one-fourth year-over-year, from 2,010 to 1,466.

Tesla also sold 206 Model Xes in December. Adding the 1,032 Model X sales to the Model S totals made for 24 percent sales growth.

2017 Tesla Model X

2017 Tesla Model X

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Kia sold 55 Soul EVs in December, bringing its annual total to 708 units, representing about 6 percent of overall Soul sales.

Ford sold 8 Focus Electrics, bringing its yearly total to 123, good for 1 percent of Focus sales.

The first five Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid minivans -- manufactured in Windsor, Ontario -- were also registered in December.

In December, BMW's electric sales included 24 each of the i3 and X5, 9 each of the i8 and 330e, and an additional 740e.

VW Group brand Porsche added 32 sales of the Cayenne S-E Hybrid, while Audi sold 32 A3 e-Trons.

Teutonic luxury rival Mercedes-Benz meanwhile added two Smart Electric Drives, a S550e and a GLE 550e to its totals.  

Finally, Volvo sold 52 XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid SUVs in December, with the 534 sales last year equating to 19 percent of overall XC90 sales.

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