The Canadian new light vehicle market has faced serious challenges in 2022 because of the ongoing semiconductor shortage, which has in turn impacted the supply chain and new vehicle inventory on many new car dealer’s lots.
However, the latest report from Desrosiers Automotive Consultants demonstrates that zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption continued to gain share in the first half of 2022, outpacing the overall market by a notable margin.
The ZEV market share across Canada reached 7.2 per cent in the first half, well above the 5.2 per cent recorded in 2021 and more than double the 3.5 per cent share in 2019. Most of this growth stemmed from battery electric vehicles, which accounted for 5.4 per cent of total registrations in the first half, up from 3.6 per cent in 2021.
British Columbia continued to lead Canada in terms of ZEV share, which rose to 14.6 per cent of the market for the first half of 2022. Quebec was not far off, noting a share of 11.4 per cent.
Other provinces trailed significantly behind with, for example, Ontario seeing ZEV share of new registrations at 5.5 per cent for the first half of 2022, while for New Brunswick and Saskatchewan ZEV share was only 2.2 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.
The results demonstrate that the approach, and in some cases lack of one, has created significantly different results across Canada. In this province as an example, B.C.’s New Car Dealers have worked immensely hard with the provincial government over the past decade to encourage and support the adoption of ZEVs through the administration of the CleanBC Go Electric Vehicle Program.
BC’s approach is based on three pillars. These include point-of-purchase rebates, access to charging stations in places where people live, work and play, and ongoing education and awareness about the benefits of EV ownership. However, another key aspect is the level of partnership and collaboration that has been created with industry, government, utility companies including charging station suppliers and energy producers.
Through the rebate program, the annual number of transactions for EVs increased from just over 500 in 2013 to more than 18,000 in 2021. Despite significant supply chain issues, in the first eight months of 2022, 10,171 rebate applications were submitted by consumers in BC.
As we head into the final months of 2022, it will be interesting to see when the supply change issues start to subside. Many analysts believe the challenge will continue well into 2023. Regardless, we can expect that the sale of zero emission vehicles will continue to make up an increasingly percentage of the market share, particularly in jurisdictions like BC where a thoughtful plan has already produced such tangible results.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.