2017 Chevrolet Volt
The Chevy Volt's May sales numbers put it in the driver's seat in Canada for the fourth time in five months
The country welcomed its 10,000th plug-in electric vehicle around October 2014, about 40 months after the first Nissan Leafs arrived. This past April—about 18 months later—the country hit 20,000.
And if current trends hold, its 30,000th plug-in will arrive in time for Canada's 150th birthday in July 2017.
The Chevy Volt paced Canada's plug-in market again in May, with its 270 sales slightly exceeding April's 260 units. It fell short of the 325 Tesla Model S sales in March, however.
Canadian electric vehicle advocates will be encouraged that the three highest monthly sales totals for individual vehicles have all come in the past three months.
Our Canadian plug-in electric vehicle sales table now includes estimates of used-vehicle imports for the Volt and Leaf as well as new-car sales.
Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, May 2016
These are calculated based on the difference between monthly vehicle registrations and automakers' reported sales.
While there may be month-to-month inaccuracies, the numbers should hold over longer periods. About 250 Chevy Volts have made their way into Canada by this route over the years.
The Nissan Leaf too enjoyed a solid May, shifting 121 units. This was down slightly from 152 in April, the Leaf's best-ever single-month Canadian total.
May also brought the 4,000th Leaf to Canada, thanks to imports of roughly 300 used cars.
Nissan markets itself as the fastest-growing auto manufacturer in Canada; perhaps this broader momentum has kept Leaf sales strong in beaver territory, even as it has struggled in the land of eagles? (Yes, Canada's official animal is a rodent.)
BMW Canada occasionally reports i-series (combined i3 and i8) sales later than other manufacturers, and this has been one such month. Interestingly, vehicle registrations through April are running at almost exactly one-third of 2015's figures.
For the i3, there were 123 registrations in the first four months of 2016, compared with 367 in all of 2015. And for the i3, there were 67 through April, versus 200 for all of 2015.
2014 BMW i3 in Vancouver, Canada [photo: Don Chandler]
Mitsubishi sold 2 more i-MiEVs in May, and Cadillac sold one more ELR.
GreenCarReports offers its monthly regrets that Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi sales are no longer provided. 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."
Toyota had ceased reporting sales of its Prius Plug-in last year, but provided the model's cumulative Canadian sales total, making it possible to fill the gap in the data table.
If and when Hyundai offers to share information on Sonata PHEV sales, we will tabulate those figures as well.
Registration Round-up for April
Tesla sold a healthy 110 Model Ses in Canada in April. The first report of a Canadian Model X have now surfaced in the TeslaMotorsClub forum, so June should give us our first look at Model X registration trends.
2016 Tesla Model X with 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport, photographed by owner Bonnie Norman
The Volvo XC90 PHEV followed its excellent 73-unit March with 69 sales in April, once again representing about 20 percent of sales.
BMW also sold 42 X5 xDrive 40e plug-in hybrid SUVs, representing about 6 percent of Canadian sales.
It will be interesting to see what percentage of Mitsubishi Outlander buyers choose the PHEV when it debuts this summer, and compare that to luxury makes.
Porsche sold 21 Cayenne S-E Hybrids (about 10 percent of sales) and 2 Panamera S-E Hybrids. Audi's 26 A3 e-trons represented about 7 percent of sales.
The Kia Soul EV had its strongest-ever month in April, with 65 sales, but thanks to the terrific popularity of the combustion version, this only represented about 5 percent of sales.
Meanwhile, Ford sold 16 Focus Electrics and another 7 Chevy Sparks drove onto Canadian roads.