Plug-in Electric Car Sales in Canada, May 2015: Tesla Supreme For Six Months?


2015 Tesla Model S 70D in new Ocean Blue color

2015 Tesla Model S 70D in new Ocean Blue color

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Last month, we assumed that Nissan would edge Tesla during April in Canadian plug-in electric vehicle sales.

Wow, were we wrong! Fully 167 Tesla Model S electric luxury sedans were registered in Canada that month, outpacing the 127 Leafs Nissan delivered.

Not wanting to underestimate Tesla for two months running, we'll cautiously assume the Silicon Valley startup will top Nissan's healthy 112 Leaf sales in May as well.

DON'T MISS: U.S. Plug-In Electric Car Sales In May: Leaf, Volt, Others Surge

That could be due to reports that the company is moving away from "batched" deliveries, meaning monthly sales in each country should stabilize.

Almost half of Tesla's April sales came from British Columbia, where electric-vehicle incentives have now returned and some buyers may have delayed taking delivery of vehicles that had actually arrived in March. The launch of the Model S 70D might have helped, as well.

Finally, Tesla's sales pushed the electric-car maker past 2,000 cumulative sales in Canada--the total through April is now 2,144--and within 100 units of Nissan's Canadian sales through April (2,240).

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, May 2015

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, May 2015

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Returning to last month's manufacturer-reported data, Nissan's 112 sales last month – whether good enough for first place or only second – seem to have restored it to the consistent level of 110 sales per month it enjoyed from last May through November.

The slight month-over-month dip (down from 127 vehicles) can probably be attributed to the return of incentives in British Columbia in April.

Nissan sold about 50 Leafs there that month, more than doubling its prior monthly best for the province.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV To Be Sold At Retail In Canada

Chevy sold 59 Volts in Canada this past month – down by two-thirds from last May's 177 units.

With the next-generation Volt imminent, buyers may be holding off for the new vehicle--or sweetened pricing from General Motors to clear out any remaining stocks of the outgoing model.

Readers can impress their baseball-loving friends and family with the fact that the Volt's 4,257 cumulative sales in Canada have nosed past Pete Rose's record for hits in major league hits (4,256).

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

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

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There's still a way to go to reach his all-time at-bats record (14,053) – but that's just a matter of time, eh?

The BMW i3 celebrated its first anniversary on sale in Canada with 59 deliveries. Though down slightly from April's 63 units, it's up healthily year-over-year from the 22 during its premiere month.

Mitsubishi sold 21 i-MiEV electric minicars, also down slightly from April (24 units). Porsche sold another 4 of its million-dollar 918 Spyders in May, and another couple Cadillac ELR range-extended electric luxury coupes drove onto Canadian roads.

As we note each month at this time, sales figures for the Toyota Prius Plug-in, Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi are unavailable, as the companies no longer provide sales breakdowns for these vehicles, and registrars don't distinguish them from their hybrid counterparts.

In the Ford representative's words: "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."

Smart Electric Drive, University of British Columbia campus, Vancouver [photo: Matthew Klippenstein]

Smart Electric Drive, University of British Columbia campus, Vancouver [photo: Matthew Klippenstein]

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April vehicle registration data

Finally, wrapping up the prior-month registration data, the 34 Smart Electric Drives registered in Canada in April are the highest volume since last September.

That may give hope for another strong summer: An average of 80 Smart EDs per month were registered in Canada from May through September of last year.

BMW sold a surprising 20 i8 plug-in hybrid sport coupes in April, by far its best-ever month.

Kia moved another 6 Soul EVs, Ford sold another 5 Focus Electrics, and 2 more Chevy Sparks drove onto Canadian roads.

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