From April to June 2021, Canadians registered 486,592 new motor vehicles, 180,681 (+59.1%) more than in the same quarter in 2020 when public health measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 resulted in the closure of dealerships.
Registrations were up for all vehicle types in the second quarter of 2021, compared with the same quarter in 2020. Multi-purpose vehicles (+87.4%) saw the largest increase, followed by passenger cars (+52.8%), vans (+32.8%) and pickup trucks (+17.4%). Multi-purpose vehicles accounted for over half (55.8%) of all new motor vehicles registered in the second quarter, up from 47.4% during the same quarter a year earlier.
Registrations of all fuel types rose in the second quarter, but the increases were less pronounced for vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE). Over four times as many new hybrid electric vehicles (+309.7%) were registered in the second quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier. More than twice as many new battery-electric vehicles (BEV) (+165.6%) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) (+151.7%) were registered in the second quarter. More new gasoline (+50.1%) and diesel (+55.9%) vehicles were also registered in the second quarter.
There were 24,006 new zero-emission vehicles registered in the second quarter, representing 4.9% of total registrations.
A word of caution though about these numbers from Statistics Canada. StatCan define zero-emission vehicles as full battery electric vehicles (BEV) as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), as they have the potential to produce no tailpipe emissions, but still have an ICE.
Nearly half (49.1%) of new zero-emission vehicles were registered in Quebec (QC), and nearly one-quarter (24.0%) were registered in British Columbia. These two provinces offer resident rebates from the purchase of a new zero-emission vehicle in addition to the national Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) rebate of up to $5,000.
More zero-emission vehicles were registered in every province in the second quarter year over year. Registrations grew at the fastest pace in Prince Edward Island (PEI) (+320.0%), New Brunswick (NB) (+277.4%), Ontario (ON) (+210.7%), Saskatchewan (SK) (+185.7%), and Manitoba (MB) (+136.9%).
Multi-purpose vehicles were the preferred zero-emission vehicle choice for Canadians in the second quarter, accounting for over half (56.3%) of all new zero-emission vehicles registered in the quarter, followed by passenger cars (42.2%) and vans (1.4%).