The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Zero-emission vehicle registrations down slightly in 2020

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Released: 2021-04-22

Restrictions, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to contain the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented dealership closures, contributing to the largest year-over-year sales decline and the lowest total of new motor vehicle registrations on record.

There were 1,545,561 new motor vehicles registered in Canada in 2020, down 19.9% (-384,884) from 2019. The drop in registrations is consistent with new motor vehicle sales, which declined for the third consecutive year, falling by 20.0% in 2020.

New registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) (+9.9%), diesel-powered vehicles (+9.6%) and hybrid electric vehicles (+8.0%) increased in 2020 from a year earlier, while new registrations of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (-25.8%) and gasoline-powered vehicles (-22.0%) declined.

New registrations of all vehicle types were down in 2020 from a year earlier. Passenger cars (-35.7%) posted the largest year-over-year decrease. There were also fewer new registrations of vans (-25.1%), multipurpose vehicles (-15.6%) and pickup trucks (-8.9%) in 2020.

Fewer new zero-emission vehicles registered in Canada in 2020

There were 54,353 new zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) registered in Canada in 2020, down slightly (-1,812) from 2019. They accounted for 3.5% of new vehicle registrations in the country.

Most new ZEVs were registered in the third (17,299) and fourth (15,928) quarters.

Fewer new ZEVs were registered in the second quarter (9,203), given that dealerships were closed for several weeks in the spring during the first lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Almost three-quarters (71.8%) of the new ZEVs registered in 2020 were BEVs, up from 63.2% in 2019.

In 2020, 95.4% of new ZEV registrations were in Canada's three largest provinces.

Quebec accounts for nearly half of all new zero-emission vehicle registrations nationally in 2020

Nearly half (26,102) of all new ZEVs registered across the country in 2020 were in Quebec, down slightly (-969) from 2019.

ZEVs represented 6.8% of all new motor vehicles registered in the province in 2020, up from 5.9% in 2019.

Almost two-thirds (65.4%) of new ZEVs registered in Quebec in 2020 were BEVs, up from 56.5% in 2019.

New ZEV registrations represented 8.0% (13,826) of total new vehicle registrations in Montréal and 5.2% (2,393) in the city of Québec.

In Quebec, the Roulez vert zero-emission rebate program was launched in January 2012, and it continues today.

Battery electric vehicles account for the largest share of new zero-emission vehicle registrations in British Columbia

New ZEV registrations represented 8.4% (15,211) of total new vehicle registrations in British Columbia in 2020, up from 7.8% a year earlier. Nevertheless, new ZEV registrations declined by 1,769 year over year.

Almost four-fifths of the new ZEVs registered in British Columbia in 2020 were BEVs (79.5%).

Victoria had the highest proportion of new ZEVs (12.9%, or 1,222 vehicles), followed by Vancouver (10.9%, or 10,594 vehicles).

The Clean Energy Vehicles for British Columbia (CEV for BC) ZEV rebate program began in November 2011, and it continues today.

Registrations of new zero-emission vehicles in Ontario remain below 2018 levels

More new ZEVs were registered in Ontario in 2020 (10,515) in comparison with 2019 (9,762), but registrations remained well below 2018 levels (16,365).

In 2020, 1.8% of new vehicles registered were ZEVs, up from 1.2% in 2019.

Of the 10,515 new ZEVs registered in 2020, 77.6% were BEVs, up from 67.2% in 2019.

In Toronto, 2.4% of new vehicles registered in 2020 were ZEVs, compared with 1.9% in Ottawa.

Ontario's Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program began in January 2010 and ended in July 2018.

  Note to readers

Estimates for Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Alberta are currently unavailable because of contractual limitations of the existing data sharing agreement. However, they are included in the Canadian total.

This survey represents the registration of new motor vehicles within the provinces and territories in a given year.

Estimates for British Columbia include the territories.

Data on new motor vehicle sales were taken from the Monthly New Motor Vehicle Sales Survey.


Statistics Canada has released the New Motor Vehicle Registrations Data Visualization Tool, an interactive dashboard that allows users to view new electric vehicle trends at the provincial and national levels.

For more information on energy in Canada and for regular updates, visit the Canadian Centre for Energy Information website and follow #energynews on social media.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

Date modified: