82% of Canadian dealers don’t have ZEV inventory, finds new report

Lack of choice also is evident among brands.

March 2022 saw 75 per cent of inventory from just three automakers: Chevrolet, Chrysler and Ford. And Chrysler was the only automaker with ZEV inventory in all 10 provinces at the time of data collection. Ford had ZEVs available in just three provinces, down from five at the time of the previous report.

“Stellantis’ Chrysler and Jeep brands now offer among the highest ZEV inventory levels in Canada,” the report found. “Meanwhile, while Hyundai and Toyota had among the highest inventory levels observed in 2021, the current study found almost no ZEV availability at all for these two automakers.”

The report found that when it comes to ZEVs, some automakers actually find themselves in an “over-build” situation.

For example, British Columbia’s province-wide days of supply shows a positive result, meaning they had more vehicles on the lot than were sold. 

“However this is skewed by Chrysler’s over-supply while all other automakers in the province drop to under-supply levels,” Dunsky says.

“It should be noted that the days of supply metric has limited use when assessing emerging EV markets, where apparent ‘over-supply’ can be a result of low historic sales rather than high inventory levels,” Dunsky cautioned.

For the first time since 2018, B.C. led the number of ZEVs available per 100,000 people (10 ZEVs), surpassing Quebec (eight ZEVs), which historically has been the leading province in this metric.

The report also concluded that inventory might not matter as much to ZEV buyers as it does to those considering a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine.

“New automotive retail models, such as the increasing shift towards online retailing, which is happening in parallel to the transitions to electrification, may be a sign that ZEV shoppers are less interested in the more traditional approach of buying a vehicle directly from a dealership lot,” Dunsky says. “This could suggest that vehicle inventory may not be as important for someone who is willing to order a vehicle to their desired specifications, provided wait times are reasonable.”

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