Plug-in electric car sales in Canada for 2017: two Dec debuts before ZEV rules

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid drive, Napa Valley, Caifornia, Dec 2017

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid drive, Napa Valley, Caifornia, Dec 2017

Plug-in electric vehicles topped 1 percent of Canadian new-car sales in the second half of 2017, but will fall just short of that milestone for the full year.

They’ll probably end around 0.95 percent when final registration data arrives, easily surpassing their 0.57-percent market share of 2016.  

Plug-in electric vehicles now represent about 45 percent of “electrified vehicles” sold in Canada, meaning both conventional hybrids and plug-in vehicles.

DON'T MISS: U.S. plug-in electric car sales in Dec: 2017 set new record, Bolt EV ends strong

With Quebec’s zero-emission vehicle sales requirement coming into force on January 11, plug-in electric vehicles might outsell conventional hybrids in Canada by 2019.

This year will see the arrival of the new 2018 Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and an eventual nationwide rollout of the Toyota Prius Prime. Tesla Model 3 sales would simply be icing on the cake.

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, December 2017

Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, December 2017

Despite December being a seasonally slow month for Canadian auto market, Chevrolet sold 300 Volt plug-in hybrids, off by half from November’s record-shattering 582.

Adding in 109 Bolt EV sales, Chevy delivered 409 plug-in electric vehicles in December, meaning it alone surpassed the sector’s total sales from December 2014. (In that month, all manufacturers together sold 370 units.)

Tesla’s combined Model S and Model X sales were likely higher still, perhaps on the order of 300 units apiece, as the company traditionally ends each quarter with a flood of deliveries.

READ THIS: Driving a Chevy Bolt EV electric car across Canada, all the way

November was a slower month for the company, with 83 Model S and 65 Model X deliveries.

Through 11 months, Tesla has sold close to the same number of each model in Canada: the totals (1408 Model S hatchbacks and 1443 Model X crossover utilities).

Two new plug-in hybrid models, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, debuted in Canada this month.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Catalina Island, CA, Sep 2017

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Catalina Island, CA, Sep 2017

The Outlander’s 24 sales fall just short of the i-MiEV electric minicar's best-ever months (26 units in May 2012 and March 2013), while the plug-in Clarity sold 27 units in its debut month.

Volkswagen sold 81 e-Golfs in December, and Toyota shifted 59 Prius Primes in Quebec.

Kia sold 37 Soul EVs and 5 Optima PHEVs, while Nissan continued drawing down the last inventory of its first-generation Leaf, with a mere 6 sales. Cadillac sold 2 CT6 PHEV sedans as well.

CHECK OUT: Canadian electric-car news: apartment charging, electric trucks, Electra Meccanica Solo

As always, sales data for the Ford Fusion Energi, the (now discontinued) Ford C-Max Energi, and the Hyundai Sonata PHEV are not provided by their makers, so we have had to estimate their sales based on partial registration data,

Volumes of Electra Meccanica electric three-wheelers will likely be in single digits, but once updates are received, we will revise our figures.

November registration roundup

November’s plug-in electric vehicle market is estimated to have been 1.19 percent of total new-vehicle sales, the third consecutive month above 1 percent.

WaiveCar Hyundai Ioniq Electric

WaiveCar Hyundai Ioniq Electric

After 190 sales in a sizzling October, Hyundai sold a more modest 59 Ioniq Electrics in November, and perhaps another 5 Sonata PHEVs. Chrysler’s Pacifica PHEV followed  October’s 136 sales with 132 in November, while Ford Focus Electric sales fell to 22 units.

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