More new electric vehicles hit the road in Canada last year than ever before but the growth is nowhere near what is happening in Europe.

Statistics Canada says more than 65,000 new battery-only and plug-in hybrid electric cars were registered in the first nine months of 2021, compared with 38,000 in 2020.

There were also more new electric-vehicle registrations in just nine months last year than in any full year before.

Electric vehicles still made up only one in 20 new passenger car registrations, well shy of the government's target of one in two new registrations by 2030 and growth in Canada is well behind what is happening on the other side of the Atlantic.

Two years ago Canada's electric-vehicle market share was three per cent, on par with France, Germany and the United Kingdom but last year they accounted for more than one in six new registrations in the U.K. and France and more than one in four in Germany.

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association is lobbying the federal government ahead of the next federal budget to triple the size of electric-vehicle rebates offered to Canadian consumers, but scrap a plan to introduce sales quotas that would force dealerships to sell a minimum number of electric cars or face fines.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2022.