Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, Aug 2017: Chevy Volt's 50th win


The Chevrolet Volt won its 17th straight Canadian plug-in electric vehicle sales title in August, which became its 50th overall.

Much has changed since its September 2011 arrival in the home of the beaver—which, we note, is not just Oregon State University’s mascot, but Canada’s national animal as well.

Back then, the Nissan Leaf offered the only major mass-market competition, as Tesla hadn’t become a significant player yet.

DON’T MISS: U.S. plug-in electric car sales for Aug: Bolt EV leads Prime, Volt lower

Now, almost 30 electric models are available in at least some parts of Canada

The Volt’s 295 August sales are about even with the average of June and July (289) though down from last August’s 421. Year to date, its 2,524 Canadian sales are about 20 percent above last year’s levels.  

Chevy also sold 82 Bolt EVs in Canada in August, down from 117 in July and 169 in June, marking its lowest full-month sales total. Given the slowdown in the past two months, one wonders if buyers are waiting to cross-shop the Tesla Model 3.

On a more positive note, after eight months almost 3,600 Volts and Bolt EVs have been sold in Canada, topping Chevrolet’s 2016 totals.

The Nissan Leaf total fell even more than the Bolt’s August swoon, with sales dropping two-thirds month over month from July’s 148 to August’s 50. Here, supply was the biggest factor: First-generation Leaf production ended in June, and inventory is dwindling.

We might expect sales to remain weak until the second-generation Leaf arrives in Canada in early 2018. It is expected to be priced at CAD $35,998 (hat tip to EV rental firm Ecomoto), slightly above the sticker price of the base first-generation Leaf (CAD $33,998).

READ THIS: Plug-in Electric Car Sales in Canada for 2016: cresting Everest

In Quebec, Toyota sold 91 Prius Primes. Interestingly, the Prime outsold the Prius hatchback by half in each of June and July. Mitsubishi sold 11 i-MiEVs in August, matching its year-ago total, while Volkswagen sold 40 e-Golfs.

Once again, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi and Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid sales are not provided by their makers.

As conveyed by 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.”

2016 Tesla Model X on the street in Vancouver, BC, Canada [photo: Matthew Klippenstein]

2016 Tesla Model X on the street in Vancouver, BC, Canada [photo: Matthew Klippenstein]

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July registration roundup

After a record-setting June, Canadian plug-in electric vehicle sales fell in July by about one-quarter to an estimated 1,323 vehicles.

Much of the fall can be traced to the usual beginning-of-quarter slump in Tesla sales.

Fifty Tesla Model Ses were sold in July, down from the 204 in June, and the lowest total since November’s 50. Tesla Model X sales were down similarly, from June’s 201 to July’s 68, and the lowest since November’s 62.

CHECK OUT: Quebec passes Canada’s first zero-emission vehicle rule, to start in 2018

As a result, the Leaf led the S and X in sales through July by the slimmest of margins, 859 to 841 to 828.

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric continued in its popular ways, selling 102 in July, roughly even with May and June.

Kia sold 41 Soul EVs in July; Chrysler added only 7 Pacifica Hybrid plug-in minivans, most likely linked to a production pause relating to a recent recall, and another late Chevy Spark EV turned up on Canadian roads.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car on Coquilhalla Highway, BC, Canada, May 2017 [Boyd/Hetherington]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car on Coquilhalla Highway, BC, Canada, May 2017 [Boyd/Hetherington]

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An estimated nine used Volts, 33 used Leafs, and three used Fiat 500e city cars were imported as well.

Audi sold 52 A3 e-tron plug-in hybrids in July, while Porsche sold 32 Cayenne S-E Hybrids. Daimler tacked on four S550e sedans and two GLE 550e SUVs.

BMW sold 37 i3 hatchbacks, 11 i8 coupes, 16 X5 xDrive40 SUVs, 8 330e and 15 530e plug-in hybrid sedans, one 740e plug-in luxury sedan, and seven Mini Countryman S E ALL4 plug-in hybrids.

Finally, Volvo sold an 41 XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid SUVs.

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