Long -predicted and long-promised, the invasion of new electric models is now well and truly underway. Increasingly, consumers are proving ready to make the transition. For some, however, the transition to electric vehicles has be done gradually. Enter the possibility of acquiring a plug-in hybrid model, or PHEV.
There are more and more PHEVs to be found in dealer showrooms, but what has made the headlines are the waiting periods for them. One of the most popular, the Toyota RAV4 Prime, is almost impossible to get without first sitting on your hands for 18 or even 24 months.
Wait times have been so dire, for some buyers the big priority in making a decision is no longer even make and model, but accessibility. Online ads have appeared bearing ‘available quickly’ as top selling points.
That said, delays have not hit every automaker and every model equally. A look at the top 10 selling PHEVs in Canada since the beginning of 2022 reveals some surprises. The following figures are from Transport Canada and are as of the end of August.
Note that the data includes only models that qualify for the federal government's iZEV program. Which means a model like the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, for example, is not included because it doesn't offer the minimum 49-km range, one of the required criteria to receive a discount. It would be on this list otherwise.
1 - Ford Escape PHEV: 1,936 units
2 - Toyota Prius Prime PHEV: 1,815 units
3 - Jeep Wrangler 4xe PHEV: 1,629 units
4 - Chrysler Pacifica PHEV: 1,605 units
5 - Hyundai Tucson PHEV: 1,405 units
6 - Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV: 846 units
7 - Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV: 775 units
8 - BMW 330ee PHEV: 544 units
9 - Kia Sorento PHEV: 306 units
10 - Lexus NX 450h+ PHEV: 101 units
An immediate surprise here is to see that the RAV4 is only sitting sixth; in fact Toyota moved far more units of its Prius Prime than it did of the much in-demand Prime SUV in the first part of this year.
Again, supply shortages surely played a large part in that; how the picture evolves as microchip shortages and other supply chain issues revolve themselves will be worth watching.
Transport Canada’s data also shows that vehicle positioning changes rapidly from month to month due to market volatility and vehicle availability.
We'll be back at the end of the year with a complete picture for 2022.