ZEVs overtake diesels with 5 per cent of 2021 market

British Columbia continues to lead the way when it comes to purchasing EVs, with Quebec consistently right behind, according to a new study published by DeRosiers Automotive Consultants. EV registrations in Canada in 2021 overtook diesel vehicle registrations for the first time, the report also says.

“While ZEVs continue to grow in prominence, their adoption varies wildly from region to region,” said Andrew King, Managing Partner of DAC “Different government approaches, consumer needs, and the ongoing broader shortage of vehicles all contribute to a very uneven landscape as Canada sets its sights on the recently announced 20 per cent national ZEV sales goal for 2026.”

The study reports that Zero-emission vehicles, including both battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, claimed 5.2 per cent of total new motor vehicle registrations across Canada for 2021—”a significant jump from the 3.5 per cent achieved in 2020.”

Even within 2021, the trend was upwards with fourth quarter ZEV registrations accounting for 6.2 per cent of total. Of note in 2021, ZEV registrations overtook diesel vehicles for the first time, with diesel accounting for only four per cent of total new motor vehicle registrations. Quebec remained the largest market for ZEVs by volume, while BC led by share of market—reaching 11.6 per cent, “far and away the highest in Canada.”

The study also reports that “within the ZEV market there has also been a significant shift between BEVs and PHEVs.” PHEV and BEV registrations were fairly even in 2018, both accounting for roughly 1.1 per cent of total registrations. However, this has shifted rapidly since and by 2021 BEVs accounted for 3.6 per cent of total registrations against PHEVs at just 1.7 per cent.

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