2023 Canadian ZEV registrations topped 10% for first time

David Kennedy/Automotive News Canada

ZEV registrations made up10.8 percent of overall vehicle sales in 2023

More than one out of every 10 of the new cars and trucks registered in Canada in 2023 was a zero-emission vehicle, marking the first time the country’s ZEV penetration rate cracked the 10 percent threshold on an annual basis, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. 

ZEV registrations made up 10.8 percent of overall vehicle sales coast to coast to coast last year, the federal agency said March 12. This was capped by a fourth-quarter performance in which 12 percent of vehicles registered were either battery-electric or plug-in hybrid. 

For 2023, ZEVs accounted for 184,578 of the 1.7 million total vehicles registered. 

Nearly half of these vehicles went to Quebec, where registrations tallied 77,083. Ontario and British Columbia followed with 49,803 and 42,611 registrations, respectively. 

B.C. was the leader on adoption with 20.2 percent of the new vehicles registered in the West Coast province were ZEVs. In Quebec and Ontario, uptake reached 18.6 and 7.4 percent, respectively. Unlike B.C. and Quebec, Ontario does not offer provincial rebates to ZEV buyers. 

New-car buyers continued to favour battery-electrics over plug-in hybrids in 2023, though PHEVs made up ground.

BEV registrations accounted for 75.6 percent of ZEV registrations in 2023, while PHEVs earned the remaining 24.4-percent share. BEV uptake rose 41.5 percent from 2022, while PHEV adoption jumped 80.5 percent. 

For the fourth quarter alone, vehicle registrations across Canada totaled 427,884, of which 51,156 were ZEVs.