Outlanders Inbound: Plug-in Electric Car Sales In Canada, March 2018


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

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

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The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV set a new single-month Canadian sales record for plug-in electric vehicles in April, selling 589 units -- more than double the 237 it managed in the United States.

Positioned enviably in the Venn diagram overlap of consumer preference for trucks and SUVs, Canadians’ greater openness to plug-in hybrids, and mass-market pricing, the Outlander plug-in appears to be making up time for the years-long delay of its Canadian release.

READ MORE: Electric car buyers want the same things as all car buyers

The Outlander PHEV nudged past the Chevy Volt’s high-water mark of 582 units from November, but does not appear to have cost the Volt any momentum. Chevy’s sales dipped slightly from 555 in March to 515 in April, but these were still the vehicle’s second- and third-best monthly figures ever. (While it has ceased to do so in the United States, GM continues to release monthly sales figures for Canada.)

Overall, automakers have so far reported 2,157 plug-in sales in Canada. Since a few automakers don't report monthly sales, we won't know the final total until we see registration data next month. Based on past experience, these numbers look a little lower than last month, but higher than during the winter.

Plug-in sales stats for Canada,

Plug-in sales stats for Canada,

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Both the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius Prime retreated from their March paces. Nissan sold 408 Leafs, down from 423, while Toyota sold 361 Prius Primes, down from the prior month’s 500. The Chevrolet Bolt EV dropped to 117 sales, down more than half from March’s 248. Months-long waiting lists continue, with anecdotal reports of dealerships selling their entire annual allotment in Q1, so the drop seems more likely to be a supply constraint, rather than weakness in demand.

Among other automakers reporting, Volkswagen sold 94 eGolfs and Honda, 73 Clarity PHEVs, with both figures down about one-third from March. Kia data was not available at time of writing.

GreenCarReports offers its monthly regrets that Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, Hyundai Ioniq PHEV and Sonata PHEV sales are not provided. A Ford said: "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." While this may have been true in past years, the Big Blue Oval’s modesty may be unnecessary now, as GreenCarReports believes the C-Max Energi to have been Canada’s fifth best-selling plug-in electric vehicle in 2017, trailing only the Chevy and Tesla vehicle pairs.

2016 Ford C-Max Energi

2016 Ford C-Max Energi

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March Registration Round-up

Plug-in electric vehicles reached an estimated 1.91 percent market share in Canada in March, easily topping the 1.55 percent estimate for February. (GreenCarReports has adjusted past estimates with the arrival of additional data from the Association des Véhicules Électriques du Québec, or AVEQ, for which we are sincerely appreciative.)

Canadians registered about 3,560 plug-in electric vehicles in March, about 50 percent more than the prior record of roughly 2,340 in September. An additional 160 plug-in electric sales would have been put plug in market share at more than 2 percent.

CHECK OUT: Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, Feb 2018: turning over new Leafs

Tesla’s usual end-of-quarter surge added substantially to the totals, with registrations of 200 Model Ses and 335 Model Xes, respectively. The 535 combined sales were down slightly from the roughly 630 Tesla sold in each of September and December, but not by a noteworthy margin. The Model 3 is expected to begin Canadian sales in Q2, and its impact (if any) on S and X sales will be as closely watched as in the United States.


 
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