The total number of road motor vehicles registered in Canada increased to 26.2 million in 2021, up 1.9% compared with 2020.
At 24.1 million, light-duty vehicles (LDV) accounted for 9 out of every 10 motor vehicles registered in 2021, with passenger cars remaining the most common type.
While there are more electric vehicles being registered across the country, British Columbia and Quebec lead the way.
Canadians’ heightened focus on clean energy is reflected in the type of fuel used by vehicles. While 94.9% of all registered light-duty vehicles remained motor gasoline in 2021, there were 303,073 hybrid electric vehicles as well as 152,685 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 95,896 plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) registered. All three of these categories grew sharply from 2020 to 2021, with notable increases for PHEVs (+24.4%) and BEVs (+48.1%).
According to new motor vehicle registrations, growth in what is commonly referred to as zero-emission (or ZEVs) has continued into 2022, with BEVs and PHEVs comprising 6.9% of all new vehicles registered during the second quarter of 2022.
However, in the same quarter, the registration of new MPVs was three times those of new passenger cars. Since MPVs on average tend to be heavier and less fuel efficient than passenger cars, the net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from more ZEVs can be offset by more MPVs.
It is common for MDVs to use diesel—more efficient and cost effective than gasoline—as their fuel source. In 2021, about two-thirds of registered MDVs were fuelled by diesel. This class of vehicles has been slower to transition to ZEVs.
Most provinces and territories saw increases in road motor vehicle registrations in 2021, following decreases during 2020, when the pandemic first hit. Some of the biggest changes were seen in Atlantic Canada. For example, Prince Edward Island had the largest increase in road motor vehicle registrations in 2021, up 9.3% from 2020. Newfoundland and Labrador experienced its first increase in registered road motor vehicles after several years of declines.
Looking at the fuel types for LDVs, British Columbia, followed by Quebec, had proportionately more ZEVs than other jurisdictions. In 2021, ZEVs accounted for roughly 2.0% of all registered LDVs in British Columbia and Quebec. Both provinces have an abundance of hydroelectricity and have provided incentives to encourage ZEV adoption. However, the transition to alternative-fuel vehicles is underway across the country.
Source » Statistics Canada