I’m looking to trade in my 13-year-old Toyota Prius for a battery-electric vehicle. I understand that Toyota’s upcoming all-electric bZ4X should be available in Canada in mid-2022. However, according to my dealer, the car will initially be available only in British Columbia and Quebec. He says it may not reach Ontario until later in 2023. Is this exclusive to the new EV? I Know Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Policies Do not include discounts on electric vehicles, but it seems like a big problem. I realize I don’t need to buy a Toyota, but I have a preference for the brand and have had an exceptional relationship with my dealer for over 25 years. – Marten, Toronto
When carmakers launch new EVs in Canada, Quebec and British Columbia usually get dibs.
“EVs are usually launched first in B.C. and Quebec,” says Joanna Kyriazis, senior policy advisor at Clean Energy Canada, an environmental nonprofit. “And they get more EVs compared to other provinces. ,
For example, where Volkswagen started sales of its new electric SUV ID.4 only last month, there is already a 9- to 12-month waiting list.
The first available models are heading to Quebec and BC, followed by Ontario later this year.
The company is planning a national rollout next year, once a new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee begins production. “The situation is a bit mixed for potential EV consumers outside the three provinces,” says Volkswagen Canada spokesman Thomas Tetzlaff.
Toyota Canada has not announced when or where it will launch its upcoming bZ4X SUV in Canada. “We intend to sell this vehicle where there is demand, as it is for all of our other vehicles,” says Toyota Canada spokesman Romaric Lartilex.
But, in 2020, it launched the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid (PHEV), first in Quebec and then in BC “Demand exceeded supply, and we were allocating supply to the markets with the greatest demand,” Lartilex says. Huh.
While EV production is slowing due to the current global semiconductor shortages affecting the entire industry, the wait for EVs is not new. “Prior to COVID-19, EV supply was generally uneven and wait times were the norm,” said George Inn, president of the Automobile Protection Association (APA). “New car dealers were also reluctant to order them, so sometimes the problem was a lack of inventory.”
More EV sales in BC and Quebec
So, why do BC and Quebec usually get EVs first?
“Quebec and B.C. where there is demand, but there is a government side, obviously,” says Andrew King, managing partner at Desrosiers Automotive Consultants. “EVs are still heavily dependent on incentives and heavily dependent on government regulations.”
Both provinces have the highest EV sales in Canada. While the number of EVs and PHEVs in the registration of new vehicles at the national level is about 5 percent. Those numbers are higher in BC and Quebec, according to Research Firm IHS Markit, In the third quarter of 2021, EVs accounted for 13 percent of new registrations in Quebec and came in fifth on the list at 9.9 percent in BC Ontario — after Yukon and PEI — at 3.1 percent.
So, between the two discounts, you’ll save up to $12,000 off the price of a new ZEV in Quebec, up to $10,000 in Yukon, PEI and Newfoundland, and up to $8,000 in BC and Nova Scotia.
“You definitely have to offer encouragement,” King says. “We saw that in Ontario when they canceled the incentives and sales immediately fell.”
Although Ford of Ontario said this month that it would not discount “millionaires” for buying a $100,000 car, all current incentive programs have limits. for example, federal incentives Applies only to EVs with a base value of less than $55,000.
Incentive not enough?
But incentives alone don’t explain why carmakers send more EVs to BC and Quebec and launch new EVs there earlier, Kyriazis says.
BC and Quebec are the only provinces with ZEV mandates that require carmakers to sell a minimum percentage of EVs – if they don’t, they’ll have to pay fines.
So, if incentives are a carrot for consumers, the ZEV mandate is a stick for manufacturers. To avoid fines, they first send the car to BC and Quebec.
Both provinces are currently working on tightening their ZEV requirements. B.C aiming at 90 percent of all new car sales will be zero emissions by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035, five years ahead of the previous target. whereas the federal government said this summer While it wants 100 percent of new vehicles sold in Canada to be zero emissions by 2035, it has not set a national ZEV mandate that would require companies to do so.
Kyriazis says Canada needs a federal ZEV mandate to have an “even playing field.”
,[It] This will ensure that every Canadian who wants an EV can find someone to buy it, no matter where in the country they live,” Kiryazis says.
Have a Driving Question? send it to [email protected] And put ‘Driving Concern’ in your subject line. Emails cannot be answered without a correct subject line. Canada is a big place, so tell us where you are so we can find answers for your city and province.
Stay on top of all our Disc stories. We have a Drive newsletter that includes car reviews, brand new cars and the ups and downs of everyday driving. ,