Motor vehicle fuel sales, 2022
42.5 billion litres
The demand for motor vehicle fuels continued to rebound in 2022, with gross sales of gasoline in Canada at 42.5 billion litres, up 5.6% from 2021. Fuel sales have reached roughly 95% of the levels from 2019 (44.8 billion litres), before the COVID-19 pandemic. At roughly 18.3 billion litres in 2022, net sales of diesel fuel were just above (+2.4%) the pre-pandemic 2019 level.
Factors influencing the demand for gasoline
After falling to a 20-year low in 2020, gross sales of gasoline rose in 2021 and continued to increase in 2022, as Canadians resumed much of their pre-pandemic travel behaviour when COVID-19-related restrictions were eased and eventually removed on October 1, 2022.
As restrictions eased throughout the year, the National Travel Survey reported that Canadians were returning to long-distance travel and took about a quarter billion (258,830,000) domestic trips during 2022, roughly 94% of the number taken in 2019, before the pandemic. A special Labour Force Survey study estimated an increase of over 2 million (or 20.8%) in the number of workers commuting by car in May 2022 from the same month a year earlier. Moreover, there was a sharp rise (+38.7%) in May 2022 in the number of employees reporting a car commute of 60 minutes or longer.
Despite the increase, gross sales of gasoline were still below pre-pandemic 2019 levels. In 2022, there were about 1.5 million new motor vehicle registrations, down from an annual average of over 1.9 million registrations in the three years before the pandemic (2017 to 2019). In addition, while the registrations of new zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) averaged approximately 2.0% from 2017 to 2019, by the fourth quarter of 2022, almost 1 in every 10 (9.6%) new registrations were ZEVs.
Fuel sales across Canada
Net sales of both gasoline and diesel―on which road taxes were remitted―also rose in 2022. Net sales of gasoline increased 5.9% from 2021 to 40.7 billion litres, while net sales of diesel edged up 2.1% to 18.3 billion litres.
In 2022, net sales of gasoline had the highest increase in Ontario at 11.5%, followed by Alberta at 9.5%, and Nova Scotia and Yukon, both at 2.3%. The annual net sales of diesel also sharply increased in 2022, with Alberta posting the largest increase at 13.0%, followed by British Columbia at 11.4% and Yukon at 4.9%.
Note to readers
The Gasoline and Other Petroleum Fuels Sold survey collects data used by the Department of Finance for the calculation of fiscal equalization payments to the provinces pursuant to the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act and territorial financing for the territories.
Motor vehicle fuel sales data are available starting in 1987 for Canada as well as provinces and territories.
Gross sales of gasoline represent total sales of all road grades of gasoline, including off-road activities such as farming, forestry, construction, and mining.
Net sales of gasoline (road grade), net sales of diesel oil (road), and net sales of liquefied petroleum gas represent sales on which taxes were remitted at road-use rates minus sales previously reported at road-use tax rates on which taxes were totally or partially refunded.
The Transportation Data and Information Hub—a web portal developed jointly by Statistics Canada and Transport Canada—provides Canadians with online access to comprehensive statistics and measures on the country's transportation sector.
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