2013 Tesla Model S and 2014 BMW i3, Hudson Valley, NY, Nov 2014
On July 1, Canadians celebrated the country's founding on the three principles of Peace, Order, and Good Government.
The same day, electric-car advocates took heart from the announcement of a pro-plug-in policy by one of the front-runners in the country's federal election this fall.
But given that plug-in sales stats are probably a higher priority to readers than political posturing north of the 49th parallel, we'll deal with those first.
Tesla rolled away with the plug-in sales crown in Canada in May, with its 178 vehicle registrations again topping rivals in Wayne Gretzky-esque fashion.
Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, June 2015 - updated
(In the 1980's, the hockey legend regularly scored one and a half times as many points each season as the closest runner-up.)
Model S sales increased over April's 167 units, as did its "margin of victory" -- rising from 31 percent in April to 57 percent in May.
With the company meeting its sales guidance last quarter, it seems likely to outsell all other plug-in cars again in June. This would make it Canada's electric sales leader for seven straight months, a winning streak second only to the Chevy Volt's dominance from March to November 2012.
Through May a total of 2,322 Model Ses are listed as having been registered in Canada, putting it just behind the Leaf's 2,352 units in the same period. Fremont's flagship may have even finished the second quarter as Canada's best-selling battery-electric vehicle, and its second-best-selling plug-in car since sales began. (Chevy's Volt totals are about twice as large as Tesla's at this point.)
2015 Chevrolet Volt
Chevy sold 120 first-generation Volts across Canada in June, its first triple-figure sales month this calendar year. Unfortunately, its 425 units year-to-date are down by half from last year's 831. The combination of lower gasoline prices and the imminent model refresh are likely culprits.
Nissan sold 101 Leafs in June, down slightly from May's 112, but its third consecutive month in triple figures. The 488 sales year-to-date are slightly ahead of last year's pace (462 through June).
The rumored-to-be-imminent introduction of a 30-kWh Leaf with 100-mile-plus range might be enough to help Nissan top last year's pace of 1,085 sales--even with the next-generation Leaf expected to launch in 2016 or 2017.
The BMW i3 added 49 drivers to its Canadian total, down slightly from 59 in May. This year's sales, at 255 units, have surpassed the 227 from the eight months of availability last year.
[Editor’s Note: The sales table has now been updated to correct an error through which BMW i8 sales were being double-counted as BMW i3’s as well. We apologize for the error. Big tip of the toque to reader Naoko Mongeon, who noticed the discrepancy.]
2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Mitsubishi's 16 i-MiEV sales brought it to 72 halfway through the year, putting it in a good position to top last year's 109 units. And Canadian drivers drove off in three each of the Cadillac ELR and Porsche 918 Spyder.
As we regret to inform readers each month, 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, and registrars don't distinguish the plug-in versions from their hybrid cousins.
To quote 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."
Smart Electric Drive, University of British Columbia campus, Vancouver [photo: Matthew Klippenstein]
May vehicle registration data
Meanwhile, looking back one more month to the actual registration data, 25 Smart Electric Drives were registered in Canada in May, down slightly from the 34 in April, and far below the 67 recorded in May of last year.
Favorable lease and/or dealer incentives may have contributed to the Smart's spectacular summer last year, which crested with 133 units sold in August.
The BMW i8 followed up on its surprising 20 sales in April with an even more surprising 25 in May, almost equaling the 28 units it managed in its four months of availability last year.
Twelve Kia Soul EVs were registered in Canada in May, seven each of the Ford Focus Electric and Chevy Spark EV, the latter of which recently became available to everyday Canadians for purchase (It was previously only available for fleet operators.)
One additional McLaren P1 plug-in hybrid was also registered.