Trends in EV Sales
July 25, 2019
By Blair Qualey
A decade ago, the notion of electric vehicle (EV) sales making a dent in the new car marketplace appeared to be something that would likely occur far down the road. After all, EV development was still in its infancy, product availability was limited and so too was the charging stations to support those who might invest in a new clean energy vehicle.
Today, much has changed. Government support in the form of incentives, improving EV charging station access, increasing vehicle range and product availability, and a growing environmental consciousness, have all combined to drastically alter the automotive landscape. EVs have clearly moved from the periphery of the marketplace to a more mainstream option.
Worldwide, more than 2-million electric vehicles were sold in 2018 and there is no sign of slowing down. A report by Bloomberg NEF predicts annual electric vehicle (EV) sales will rise to 10 million in 2025, 28 million in 2030 and 56 million by 2040.
In Canada, EV sales are virtually doubling each and every year. in 2016, a total of 11,000 units were sold; in 2017, the figure climbed to 19,000, and; in 2018, EV sales surpassed the 44,000 mark.
In British Columbia, the same positive trend has also been established. We have seen transactions recorded through the CEVforBC™ incentive program grow from a modest total of 567 in 2013, but increase substantially in each subsequent year. By 2017, EV sales totaled 3,500 before rising dramatically to 8,500 in 2018. Through the first five months of 2019, more than 6,000 transactions occurred.
Remarkably, last year overall vehicle sales in British Columbia totalled about 207,000 – and the sale of electric vehicles represented more than 11 per cent of all new car sales over the same time frame (excluding SUVs, pick-up trucks and minivans).
The popularity of the CEVforBC™ Program has been such that the provincial government recently made changes to the program in order to ensure incentive funds weren’t exhausted by the Fall, and could be extended to as many consumers as possible. The federal government is also playing a significant role in making EVs more affordable through its newly minted Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program
Of course, incentives are only one part of the equation. More than 1,000 charging stations have been established in the province, with more committed. The provincial government has paved the way for the private market to get involved in helping to develop a more robust charging network. And there is no question that as auto manufacturers continue to electrify more of their offerings, and as more truck and SUV product are developed, the prospect of EVs will be an even more attractive option for drivers.
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Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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