​Canada’s electric truck market has ‘hidden potential’: NEB

Interior of a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the best-selling EV/hybrid truck/van/SUV model in Canada in 2017. Image: Chrysler

Canadians like driving trucks, and electric vehicle manufacturers moving into that space more meaningfully would help pick up overall market share, according to the National Energy Board.

In a new market snapshot, the NEB notes that since 2010, truck sales have gained market share over passenger cars. In 2009, Canadians bought roughly one truck (including pick ups, sport utility vehicles (SUVs)/crossovers, and minivans) for every car sold. In 2018, Canadians purchased almost 2.5 trucks for every car sold.

“Truck sales have not taken off in the electric vehicle market like they have in the ICE (internal combustion engine) market. Among electric vehicles, sales of passenger cars are significantly higher than trucks,” the NEB says, adding that over four electric cars are sold for every electric truck.

“There are many reasons for this, among them are that fewer models of electric trucks are currently available to Canadians, and the costs are currently higher than their ICE counterparts…in 2018, there were only 9 truck models available to Canadians, compared to 26 for passenger cars.”

There are no electric pick-up trucks and relatively few electric SUV alternatives available in Canada, the NEB says.

In 2017, 4 out of the top 5 best-selling trucks in 2017 were pick-up trucks, representing 26 percent of total ICE truck sales.

“In contrast, the top-selling EV truck was the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, accounting for 44% of all EV truck sales. The next 4 best selling EV trucks were SUVs, accounting for 53% of all EV truck sales,” the NEB says.

“The upcoming years will provide valuable insight into Canadians’ willingness to adopt EVs if more models become available. Some automakers, like Ford and General Motors, plan to shift their focus from EV car production to SUVs and crossovers. Combining these targets with the projected increase in battery efficiency and the increasing preference for trucks, electric vehicle sales could grow further.”