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Dunsky is pleased to release the latest version of its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Availability report produced for Transport Canada. This report summarizes our fourth and fifth primary data collection and analysis exercises to quantify the availability of ZEVs at dealerships across the country.

The report supports Transport Canada’s efforts to monitor ZEV supply and secure an accurate picture of how easily Canadians can purchase/lease them.

Key findings include:

  • Canada-wide: Inventory levels increased compared to previous reports, showing signs that some automakers caught up with demand in late 2020 and early 2021.
  • Provinces: Inventory continues to be unevenly distributed between provinces and automakers. ZEV inventories tended to be focused in Quebec, BC and to a lesser extent, Ontario, leaving other parts of the country with much less inventory overall, and much less diversity in ZEV model options.
  • Dealerships: Inventories are spread very unevenly, with no ZEVs in stock at a majority of Canadian dealerships. As a result, shoppers entering a majority of dealerships across Canada will not find a ZEV that can be driven off the lot the same day.

“Compared to our previous studies on this topic, we saw a clear sign that industry is responding to increased demand for ZEVs by increasing inventories in dealerships across the country,” said Jeff Turner, Dunsky Senior Research Lead and Head of the firm’s Mobility practice. “Yet the availability of ZEVs varies considerably across the country. Provinces with long-standing ZEV mandates and purchase incentives have the most options, and a slight majority of dealerships have no ZEVs available at all, resulting in a very uneven experience for consumers. As a result, some consumers may not have access to ZEVs, which may hinder adoption. Finding ways to ensure all Canadians have access to zero emission vehicles will be important in achieving Canada’s ambitious targets.”

The report acknowledges the success of alternative sales models which see little to no inventory at dealerships (such as Tesla). However, a large portion of Canadian vehicle buyers still look to purchase their vehicles from a dealership lot. These buyers are finding it difficult to locate ZEVs.

Data for this report was collected in November 2020 and February 2021. Dunsky first reported on ZEV availability for Transport Canada in 2018. Since then, the policy context for ZEVs has become more favourable across the country. Since the last report in March 2020, new vehicle purchase incentives were announced in four provinces and – for the first time – two territories. Additional public charging stations have also been installed in all provinces, and plans for a federal ZEV sales mandate announced on December 10, 2021 (100% zero-emission new car and light-truck sales by 2035) will only add to policy support for increasing ZEV inventory.

The data presented in this report was collected through automaker inventory databases as well as phone surveys with dealerships. Between these two methods, ZEV inventory levels were collected for 3182 dealerships across Canada, estimated to represent nearly 80% of Canadian dealerships. More information can be found in the report.

As a leader in providing clean mobility advice and research across North America, Dunsky works with governments, utilities and private sector players to accelerate the transition to a clean transportation system. From modelling the impact of ZEV policies and investments, to forecasting ZEV adoption, helping electric utilities plan for EVs, developing fleet transition plans and supporting clean mobility policies and business strategies, we work with clients to support their transportation decarbonization efforts.

About Dunsky

Founded in 2004, Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors supports leading governments, utilities, corporations and non-profits across North America in their efforts to accelerate the clean energy transition, effectively and responsibly.

Working across buildings, industry, energy and mobility, we support our clients through three key services: we quantify opportunities (technical, economic, market); design go-to-market strategies (plans, programs, policies); and evaluate performance (with a view to continuous improvement).

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