2014 Tesla Model S
Well, September vehicle registration data for Canada has now arrived, and the Tesla Model S simply crushed all competition with 194 sales.
The September numbers no doubt got a tailwind from deliveries that would've taken place in August (a far-below-average 25 sales) but had to be delayed on account of Tesla's shutdown and retooling of its Fremont factory.
We'd expect October's Tesla sales to return to their usual range of 50 to 100 vehicles.
Those 194 sales, incidentally, are the fourth-highest monthly total achieved by any plug-in electric vehicle in Canada--behind three months in which Chevy moved more than 200 Volts.
And, significantly, they also helped Canada's monthly electric-car sales surpass 600 vehicles for the first time ever.
Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, October 2014
For a third consecutive month, 113 Leafs moved from dealership lots to buyers' driveways in October, making it the "steady Eddie" of the Canadian electric vehicle scene.
(That obscure baseball reference is dedicated to any Green Car Reports readers still suffering from World Series withdrawal.)
The Leaf's 113 sales nosed it past the Chevy Volt, which tallied 107 sales in October, down somewhat from its September figures (145) but still far above year-ago levels (62 sales in October 2013).
The Volt is also approaching a milestone, with GM likely to achieve its 4000th Canadian sale by year's end.
To preempt any confusion, note that these sales statistics are new-car sales reported by GM.
They do not include the used Volts sold by Quebec's phenomenally Volt-friendly dealership Bourgeois Chevrolet, where new and used Volts together account for fully one-third of its total sales.
Bourgeois Chevrolet, Rawdon, Quebec, Canada [photo: RoulezElectrique.com]
Among other reporting manufacturers, Mitsubishi sold another 12 i-MiEV electric minicars (up from 7 in September) bringing it to 494 cumulative sales.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in and Cadillac ELR each sold 5 units in September.
BMW i3 sales typically arrive a bit later in the month, but have hovered in the range of 20 to 30 cars since the vehicle's arrival.
Curiously, three of the seven Canadian dealerships qualified to sell the i3 are in British Columbia (representing about 13 percent of Canada's population). If BMW can convince more Ontario and Quebec dealerships (62 percent) to promote the vehicle, sales could rise going forward.
September registration roundup
Unfortunately, we've had delays receiving the September vehicle registration data in Canada. We'll provide an update when those numbers come in, as we expect strong numbers from Tesla as it ramps production back up after its factory shutdown.
Slide from Influence of Psychological Variables and Incentives on Preference for Electric Vehicles
Given the importance of HOV-lane access in U.S. plug-in incentive programs, it may come as a surprise that the report called for municipalities to offer free parking instead.
As it turns out, a recent survey of 450 new car buyers in British Columbia found that if given the choice, they'd prefer free parking over carpool-lane access.
Free parking may not trump HOV-lane access as an incentive in the United States–fewer B.C. drivers use highways on their commutes than elsewhere–but it never hurts to have another arrow in the plug-in proponent's quiver.
Back to Nissan and its continuing sales success, however.
Leaf milestone coming up?
At the recent Canadian Electric Vehicle / Vehicule Electrique conference, the company explained that it had finally reached its target channel inventory of about 60 days, so hopefully sales will continue apace.
With 1798 cumulative sales through Halloween, Nissan looks set to sell its 2000th Canadian Leaf by year's end–a fine milestone, if a modest one, compared to the vehicle's global achievements.
[SLIDE: The Influence of Psychological Variables and Incentives on Preference for Electric Vehicles, Kormos et al., EV2014VE conference, October 2014.]