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New motor vehicle registrations, first quarter 2021

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Released: 2021-07-27

Canadians registered 11.8% more new motor vehicles in the first quarter of 2021 than in the same quarter a year earlier, when dealerships closed in mid-March at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the 375,826 new motor vehicles registered in the first quarter were down 6.5% from the number registered in the same quarter of 2019.

Over half (54.2%) of all new motor vehicles registered in the first quarter of 2021 were multipurpose vehicles, up by one-quarter (+24.8%) from the same quarter a year earlier. Registrations also increased for new pickup trucks (+10.4%) and vans (+1.4%), but declined for new passenger cars (-13.3%).

Although more new gasoline-powered vehicles were registered in the first quarter of 2021 (326,146) than in the same quarter a year earlier (303,035), the share of gasoline-powered vehicles among total new vehicle registrations fell from 90.1% to 86.8%.

Nearly twice as many new hybrid electric vehicles were registered in the first quarter of 2021 (14,278) than in the same quarter of 2020 (7,680). New registrations of new diesel-powered vehicles increased from 13,567 to 18,112.

The share of zero-emission vehicles registered continues to rise

The share of zero-emission vehicles registered, including full battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, rose from 3.5% in the first quarter of 2020 to 4.6% in the first quarter of 2021. The share of new zero-emission vehicles registered has risen every first quarter since the series began in 2017. Year over year, the share of full battery electric vehicles registered rose from 2.5% to 3.4% in the first quarter, while the share of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles registered edged up from 1.1% to 1.2%.

In May 2019, the national Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles Program began, offering Canadians a rebate of up to $5,000 for the purchase of a new zero-emission vehicle. Almost three-quarters (73.4%) of the zero-emission vehicles registered in the first quarter of 2021 were full battery electric vehicles. This was up from 63.7% in the first quarter of 2019 and one-quarter higher than the first quarter of 2017 (47.7%).

Just over three-quarters (75.3%) of the new zero-emission vehicles registered nationally in the first quarter were in Quebec (6,901) and British Columbia (6,119). Additional provincial zero-emission vehicle rebates are also available to residents of those two provinces under the Roulez vert and the Clean Energy Vehicles for British Columbia (CEV for BC) programs, respectively.

The number of new zero-emission vehicles registered rose in every province in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the same quarter a year earlier, with the largest increase in Ontario (+1,227), followed by Saskatchewan (+57), Manitoba (+35), New Brunswick (+30), and Prince Edward Island (+14).

Zero-emission vehicle registrations now available at the local level

Today, Statistics Canada is also releasing data on zero-emission vehicle registrations by census subdivision and census metropolitan area or census agglomeration from the first quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2021.

In the first quarter of 2021, the most new zero-emission vehicles were registered in the census metropolitan area of Vancouver (4,500).

  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 looks at registrations of new motor vehicles in the provinces and territories in a given year.

Estimates for British Columbia include the territories.


The "New motor vehicle registrations: Quarterly data visualization tool," a new interactive tool that allows users to compare and analyze new zero-emission motor vehicle registration data by fuel type and geography, is now available online.

Geospatial quarterly data on new zero-emission motor vehicle registrations are now available on the Canadian Statistical Geospatial Explorer Hub, which is part of the series Statistics Canada – Data Visualization Products (Catalogue number71-607-X2020010.

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;

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