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Tesla Model S dominates electric car sales in Canada

Tesla Model S sales have been a perennial winner in Canada's (admittedly small) plug-in electric car market. 

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    A Tesla Model S 70D takes a test drive in Detroit. Tesla Model S has been the best-selling electric plug-in vehicle in Canada for several months.
    Carlos Osorio/AP/File
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Tesla's dominance in Canadian plug-in electric vehicle sales in December seems all but assured, given that its sales in the quarters ending in March, June and September were 250, 242, and 255 respectively.

Those are the three highest single-month sales totals for any plug-in electric vehicle in Canada, and Tesla delivered 1.5 times as many vehicles worldwide in the fourth quarter as in its previous best quarter.

With 104 Teslas registered in Canada in November – its ninth straight triple-digit sales month – the electric-car maker only needs 214 December deliveries to hit 2,000 for the year.

That would better the previous-best Canadian plug-in vehicle annual sales total by about one-third, Chevy having sold 1,521 Volts in 2014.

Though overshadowed by its Californian cousin, the Chevy Volt enjoyed an exceptional December north of the 49th parallel, with 220 vehicles finding new drivers.

That number was up slightly from November's 172, and only two short of its best-ever month in Canada (April 2014), when oil averaged $104 per barrel.

The achievement is all the more impressive, given that December is consistently the third-slowest month of the year for auto sales in Canada, beating only January and February.

All told, Chevrolet sold 1,426 Volts in Canada last year. That's down slightly from 1,521 in 2014, but is still an excellent result, given that fuel efficiency has probably dropped far down the list of consumer concerns.

The Nissan Leaf meanwhile has continued steadily, unaffected by the 2015 sales slump it experienced in the United States.

December's 122 sales were the eighth time in nine months it sold in the triple digits, and almost exactly in line with the 121 average monthly sales in that time period. Sales improved for the fourth straight year, reaching 1,233 from the 1,085 units sold in 2014.

BMW sold 46 i-series vehicles in December.

While the split between i3 hatchbacks and i8 sport coupes won't be available until vehicle registration arrives, the i3 looks to have sold 360 to 380 vehicles last year (up from 199 in 2014) with the i8 adding about 200 units of its own.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV sold 11 units in December, good for 121 on the year, arresting a two-year sales decline--and actually 6 morecars than the 115 sold in the U.S. last year. While the modified kei car has its devoted fans, the subcompact has proven to be as undersized for North American roads as the Ford F-150 is oversized for Japan streets.

Cadillac sold 25 ELR's in 2015, narrowly beating the 21 units of the Porsche 918 Spyder.

As always, we regret that Toyota Prius Plug-in, Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi sales are no longer provided by their manufacturers.

"I have looked into this and unfortunately we are not inclined to provide this level of detail for Canada," according to a Ford representative.

"The numbers are very small, as you might imagine."

Based on past sales ratios between the hybrid and plug-in versions of the Ford vehicles, one would expect Ford to have sold something on the order of 300 Energi vehicles in 2015. And the end of first-generation Prius Plug-in production this year almost certainly means Canadian sales were only in the dozens.

November registration data

The plug-in Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid continued its steady sales pace in November with 24 sales.

Meanwhile, the Kia Soul EV dropped to 15 vehicles, down substantially from October's 56--though its sales had jumped mightily from July to October.

The Smart ED has shown strongly seasonal sales for the past two years (high in the summer, low during the rest of the year); its registrations tailed off to 11 in November. The Smart looks to finish 2015 with about 300 registrations, down about half from 561 in 2014.

The BMW i8 supercar – with twice the base price of the Tesla Model S – saw 13 vehicles registered in November, and is likely to end the year with about 200.

The Ford Focus Electric and Chevy Spark saw 3 and 4 new buyers, respectively, in November, with year-to-date sales in the 30s.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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