Canadian Electric Vehicle Market Sees Fluctuations in Q1 2024

The Canadian electric vehicle (EV) market has seen a dynamic first quarter in 2024. While the national adoption rate of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) has shown impressive year-over-year (YoY) growth, quarter-over-quarter figures reveal a slight decline.

According to the latest data from S&P Global Mobility, in Q1 2024, ZEVs accounted for 12.5% of all new light vehicle registrations in Canada, a decrease from the 13.2% seen in Q4 2023. Despite this dip, the YoY comparison paints a more positive picture, with ZEV registrations increasing by a massive 55.0% from Q1 2023.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), a subset of ZEVs, also experienced a reduction in market share, dropping from 10.0% in Q4 2023 to 9.2% in Q1 2024. This decrease follows a period of growth throughout 2023, where BEV market share peaked at 10.1% in Q3.

S&P says the reasons behind this decline are varied, including potential market saturation, consumer anticipation for newer models, and broader economic factors.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), both of which are considered ZEVs under Canadian guidelines, showed slight increases in market share, rising to 11.3% and 3.3%, respectively, in Q1 2024.

Credit: Drive Tesla (data via S&P Global)

Provincial Leaders in EV Adoption

Quebec remains at the forefront of EV adoption in Canada, with ZEVs making up 25.0% of all new vehicle registrations in the province for Q1 2024. This marks a substantial increase from 15.44% in Q1 2023. Quebec also contributed to nearly half (48.7%) of Canada’s overall ZEV volume.

It will be interesting to see if these kinds of figures continue into the future as the province recently announced it is phasing out its EV rebate program, which currently provides $7,000 to eligible buyers.

On the other side of the country, British Columbia also shows strong adoption rates, though it experienced a slight decrease from 26.48% in Q3 2023 to 21.89% in Q1 2024.

Despite this, BC holds 21.1% of the national ZEV share, reflecting ongoing enthusiasm for eco-friendly vehicles among its residents.

Ontario, with its large population and significant automotive market, has seen gradual growth in ZEV adoption, increasing from 6.16% in Q1 2023 to 6.98% in Q1 2024. Ontario’s national ZEV percentage stands at 22.6%.

Credit: Drive Tesla (data via S&P Global)

Urban Centers See Decline in Adoption

Montreal leads Canadian cities in ZEV adoption with a notable increase, rising from 18.2% in Q1 2023 to 28.07% in Q1 2024. However, the city saw a slight decrease in ZEV volume of 4.5% from the previous quarter, possibly due to seasonal trends.

Toronto, conversely, experienced a significant drop in EV adoption, falling from a peak of 10.9% in Q3 2023 to 8.3% in Q1 2024, a sharp 24.0% decrease in volume.

Vancouver also saw a decrease in adoption rates, from 31.3% in Q3 2023 to 25.7% in Q1 2024. Despite this, Vancouver maintains one of the highest adoption rates among Canadian cities.

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