Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, Feb 2017: Bolt sprints to a speedy start


The Chevy Bolt EV electric car got off to a fast start in its first full month of Canadian sales, selling 86 vehicles in February.

Excluding its first week of availability in late January, the Bolt enjoyed the fourth-best debut month of any plug-in electric vehicle in the Canadian market.

It trailed the Tesla Model S (95 in December 2012), the Chevy Volt (143 in September 2011) and the Tesla Model X (156 in June 2016).

DON'T MISS: U.S. plug-in electric car sales for Feb: Volt outsells Prius Prime, Bolt EV, Leaf

Sadly for General Motors' marketing team, Jamaica's namesake eight-time gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt recently signed with Nissan as its Director of Excitement.

The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, meanwhile, enjoyed its eleventh consecutive month atop the Canadian plug-in electric vehicle market in February.

Its 266 sales were up slightly from 256 in January, and it continues to outsell all conventional hybrids in the Canadian market except the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, February 2017

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, February 2017

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When Chevy Spark and Cadillac ELR sales are factored in, GM has sold roughly 9,700 plug-in electric vehicles in the Canadian market. It should sell its 10,000th in late March.

Counting more than 300 used Volts imported from the United States, Canadian roads have already welcomed their 10,000th General Motors vehicle with a plug.

Nissan sold 113 Leafs, the first time it had reached triple figures in February, rebounding from January's 65 sales.

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

With about 4,750 cumulative Leaf sales thus far, Nissan looks set to sell its 5,000th Leaf in Canada in late April, roughly in time for Earth Day (April 22).

Vehicle registrations indicate more than 520 used Leafs have been imported, meaning that now a remarkable one in 10 Leafs on Canadian roads are immigrants from the U.S.

Among other reporting automakers, Mitsubishi sold another 3 i-MiEVs in Canada in February, while BMW sold an additional 21 i-series vehicles.

2014 BMW i3 in Vancouver, Canada [photo: Don Chandler]

2014 BMW i3 in Vancouver, Canada [photo: Don Chandler]

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As always, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi and Hyundai Sonata PHEV sales are not provided. 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. The numbers are very small, as you might imagine."

January registration roundup

Canadians bought about 810 new plug-in electric vehicles in January, doubling the total of roughly 400 a year earlier. Another 25 used plug-in electric vehicles were estimated to have been imported.

CHECK OUT: How electric-car pioneers differ form mainstream buyers in Canada

Tesla sold 100 Model Ses in January, down from 146 in December but better than the 47 in January 2016. This was the Model S's first-ever triple-figure January; the prior best  was 99 in January 2015.

Canadians also bought 114 Model Xes in January, the fifth consecutive month that the falcon-winged crossover utility outsold its sedan sibling. Sales were down from December's 206, however.

Kia sold 47 Soul EVs in January, about even with December's 55. Ford sold one additional Focus Electric, while Chrysler sold 13 Pacifica (plug-in) Hybrid minivans. 

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

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BMW's January plug-in sales comprised a mixture of 12 i3 electric hatchbacks plus small numbers of four plug-in hybrids: 8 i8 coupes, 31 X5 SUVs, one 330e small sedan, and four 740e large sedans.

Mercedes-Benz continued to play catch-up, adding only one S550e sedan and three GLE 550e SUVs to its totals.

Rival Audi enjoyed its best-ever month of A3 e-Tron sales, with the plug-in hybrid's 49 units representing a best-ever 23 percent of all A3s sold in January.

Porsche meanwhile moved a further 17 Cayenne S-E Hybrid SUVs and another Panamera S-E Hybrid sedan.

2017 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine with Polestar Performance Optimization

2017 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine with Polestar Performance Optimization

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Volvo sold 28 XC90 T8s in January, making up 17 percent of that model sales. The luxury plug-in hybrid SUV recently earned the distinction of becoming the first model of plug-in electric vehicle  registered in the northern territory of Nunavut (population 36,000).

It may have taken five and a half years, but now plug-in electric vehicles can at last be found in all of Canada's 10 provinces and three territories.

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