2016 Chevrolet Volt, first drive in California, July 2015

2016 Chevrolet Volt, first drive in California, July 2015

The second-generation Chevy Volt followed up its 203 October sales with 178 units in November, likely leading the Canadian plug-in electric vehicle pack.

Though it will end December with slightly lower year-over-year volumes, the positive early reception suggests the 2016 Volts have the potential to top their previous sales record in 2016.

The Nissan Leaf enjoyed its best single month in Canada, with the "Leading Environmentally-friendly Affordable Family" vehicle selling 148 units, up from 113 in October and previous-record 144 in September.

DON'T MISS: U.S. Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Nov: Volt Strong, But Leaf, i3 Decline

With 1,111 sales through 11 months, the Leaf has now topped its year-ago level of 1,085.

The Volt and Leaf's podium positions won't be known until the Tesla registration data arrives. Canadians bought 138 Model Ses in October, broadly in line with sales in April (167) and July (148).

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, November 2015

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, November 2015

Being the first months of their respective quarters, those offer contextually-better comparables than September, whose 255 units were boosted by Tesla's tendency to deliver a bevy of cars at the end of every quarter.

In light of the speculation over whether Tesla will achieve its Q4 and full-year worldwide sales targets, it's noteworthy that Model S sales in Canada this year are running at double the pace of last year's total of 847 units.

Canadian buyers, in other words, have done their part.

November saw BMW sell 50 i-series vehicles, up from 40 in October. Mitsubishi sold 8 i-MiEVs, in line with its five-month average, and another Porsche 918 Spyder drove into the Canadian winter.

2015 Tesla Model S 70D in new Ocean Blue color

2015 Tesla Model S 70D in new Ocean Blue color

As usual we regret that breakouts for sales of the Toyota Prius Plug-in, Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi are not provided by their makers.

To revisit the statement of 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."

October registrations

The Kia Soul EV continues its strong second half, finding 56 buyers in October. Its 204 sales in the July to October period are enough to move ahead of the Smart Electric Drive's 176, and just behind BMW's 221 combined i3 and i8 sales.

Smart ED sales in October continued their seasonal decline, the 22 units being about half of September's 39, and Porsche sold 25 plug-in electric Cayennes, about even with September.

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

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

Canadians bought two Ford Focus Electrics, and in their first month of availability to retail buyers as well as fleet operators, Chevy sold 11 Spark EVs, almost all in Quebec.

Visions of ZEV mandates

Though the Quebec provincial government was the only Canadian representative on the recently-announced ZEV Alliance (Norway, Holland and California are among other founding members), Canadian supporters of zero-emission vehicle legislation got a boost in November.

MORE: Every New Car Emission-Free By 2050? 'ZEV Alliance' Plans To Make It So

Earlier this year, British Columbia convened a Climate Leadership Team – an advisory group spanning business, First Nations, government, academic and environmentalist stakeholders – to offer policy recommendations to the provincial government.

Recommendation 19 from the team's report calls for a strong ZEV mandate (10 percent of vehicle sales in 2020 to be zero-emission), a policy proposal that gained consensus from the 17-member team.

Bourgeois Chevrolet, Rawdon, Quebec, Canada [photo: RoulezElectrique.com]

Bourgeois Chevrolet, Rawdon, Quebec, Canada [photo: RoulezElectrique.com]

The province's New Car Dealers Association has come out in opposition to the policy proposal, suggesting that the electric-vehicle rebate program (which it oversees) be extended, and that clean energy vehicles receive HOV lane access instead.

Electric vehicle advocates can take a small measure of comfort that incentives and HOV-lane access is the Dealers Association's fallback position, though some might suggest that there's no sense in settling for the silver medal when the gold is in reach.

While local electric vehicle associations are planning a response, readers in BC may wish to bookmark the report for future reference, for their own local outreach and advocacy efforts.


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