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Sales of EVs Bucking the Trend

Sales of EVs Bucking the Trend

September 10, 2019

At the beginning of the calendar year, many automotive analysts predicted a slowdown in global vehicle sales – and that has proven true in countries around the world.

In Canada for instance, through the first seven months of 2019, Desrosiers Automotive reports that vehicle sales totalled approximately 1.15 Million – down 4.8% year to date from 2018.  However, while overall car and truck sales dipped, the same was not true for electric vehicles (EVs), which continue to be an increasingly attractive purchase for new car buyers.

When the federal government announced it was establishing a purchase incentive program for EVs this Spring, there was little doubt it would create an additional spark. However, what has transpired since the Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program was introduced has been remarkable, particularly in British Columbia, where consumers can apply both the federal and the provincial CEVforBC™ incentive towards the purchase of a new EV.

Between May (when the new federal program came into effect) and June, approximately 14,000 incentives were processed nation-wide, up about 17 per cent over the same period a year ago.

In British Columbia, through the first seven months of 2019, more than 6,000 CEVforBC™ transactions occurred. While we don’t yet have data covering the entire summer, it’s safe to say that trend has continued. This follows a year in which 2018 EV sales totalled 8,500 – representing more than 11 per cent of all new car sales over the same time frame (excluding SUVs, pick-up trucks and minivans).

Auto manufacturers are gearing up for what will be a massive financial commitment, which according to Reuters, will exceed $90 Billion over the next decade. Analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance have also predicted more than half of new cars sold will be electric in 20 years. As many as 14 new EV models are expected to hit the market in 2020, and over the next two years it’s anticipated that more than 70 EV models will be available, offering an unprecedented levels of design and increased range.

However, we shouldn’t count out gas-driven vehicles just yet. After all, an estimated 95 per cent of all passenger vehicles and trucks sold in Canada continue to be gasoline or diesel powered. Here in BC, the fleet average is approximately eleven years old, underlining that the transition will take time. And of course, another factor is how quickly manufacturers can address issues such as cost, range anxiety, and access to convenient, networked charging stations.

There continue to be a number of ifs, and’s or buts – but one thing is certain, at some point the balance will shift. It’s an electrifying future in the automotive world!

For the latest information on car careers in BC’s automotive industry, visit: https://carsandjobs.com/

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca.

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