The effect of the Canadian government’s new EV incentives program was fairly easy to predict, but it took a few months of data before we could confirm it. Sales of electric vehicles in Canada have soared since May 1st, the day the federal program took effect. The data announced today by the federal government doesn’t tell the full story, of course, but it shows a clear trend.
Federal transport minister Marc Garneau was happy to announce that over 14,000 eligible vehicles were bought or leased over the past three months under the program. According to the government, this translates into an estimated drop of 36,000 tons of greenhouse-gas emissions annually, or 429,000 tons over the expected lifespan of these vehicles.
We would have liked to know the precise increase in sales of electric vehicles for the period of May 1-July 31 for this year in comparison with the same period last year. Instead, the government announcement refers to the sales increase over the first six months of the year compared to the corresponding period in 2018; that increase sits at 30%.
As always it’s important to keep things in the proper perspective when it comes to EVs. Overall, zero-emissions vehicles still represent only 3% of total vehicle sales in Canada. Last year it was 2%.