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The latest version of Dunsky’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Availability report produced for Transport Canada is now available.

This report summarizes data collected in March 2022 to support 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: In line with industry wide impact of global supply disruptions,inventory levels of ZEVs were the lowest we have seen since Dunsky began tracking this data in 2018, with a 72% decrease in inventory compared to February 2021. 

Provinces: As noted in previous reports, ZEV inventory is unevenly distributed between provinces and automakers. ZEV inventories tended to be focused in BC (which now surpasses Quebec for most ZEVs available per 100,000 people), Quebec, 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 decreased significantly at dealerships, with 82% of dealerships having no ZEVs in stock at the time the data was collected, compared to 54% during our previous study in February 2021.  Of the 18% of dealerships with ZEVs, nearly half of them only had one vehicle in inventory. Of those dealers without any ZEVs available, 38% of them said the wait time for a new order would be over 6 months, compared to 31% in 2021.

“The decrease in ZEVs is concerning because their availability was already uneven and limited, while demand is continuing to grow relative to other vehicles,” said Jeff Turner, Dunsky Director of Clean Mobility. “Canada has ambitious GHG reduction targets, and although we know that inventory is down for both ZEVs and internal combustion engine vehicles, the decreased ZEV inventory likely made it even tougher for Canadians in most provinces to purchase or lease an electric vehicle.”

The report acknowledges that new automotive retail models, such as the increasing shift towards online retailing, which is happening in parallel to the transitions to electrification, may be a sign that ZEV shoppers are less interested in the more traditional approach of buying a vehicle directly from a dealership lot. This could suggest that vehicle inventory may not be as important for someone who is willing to order a vehicle to their desired specifications, provided wait times are reasonable. It also recognizes that industry-wide impacts from global supply chain issues are having an impact on current inventory levels. Despite this, we found signs that several automakers are increasing their efforts to meet ZEV demand

Data for this report was collected in February and March of 2022. 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 our last report in February 2021, purchase incentives for ZEVs are now available from the federal government and from a majority of provinces and territories, while the deployment of charging infrastructure across Canada is accelerating with the support of governments, utilities and the private sector.

The data presented in this report was collected through automaker online inventory databases as well as phone surveys with dealerships. Between these two methods, ZEV inventory levels were collected for 3,208 dealerships across Canada, estimated to represent nearly 80% of Canadian dealerships. More information can be found in the report. 

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, Dunsky is a North American leader in supporting clean mobility.  

About Dunsky 

Founded in 2004, Dunsky supports leading governments, utilities, corporations and others across North America in their efforts to accelerate the clean energy transition, effectively and responsibly.

With deep expertise across the Buildings, Mobility, Industry and Energy sectors, we support our clients in two ways: through rigorous Analysis (of technical, economic and market opportunities) and by designing or assessing Strategies (plans, programs and policies) to achieve success.

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