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Vehicle ownership rising at nearly twice the rate of Vancouver Island's population growth: ICBC

A net increase of 45,000 vehicles were insured on Vancouver Island between 2012 and 2016, according to the latest data released by ICBC. At the identified rate of vehicle accumulation, car ownership is outpacing the Island's population growth by a factor of two-to-one.

Vehicle ownership rising at nearly twice the rate of Vancouver Island's population growth: ICBC
The number of insured vehicles on Vancouver Island is increasing at nearly twice the rate of population growth, according to the most recent insurance data compiled by ICBC.
Between 2012 and 2016 the number of insured passenger automobiles (including hybrid and electric variants), commercial vehicles, motorhomes, and motorcycles/mopeds on Island roads jumped 7.63% to 632,570 from 587,799 (a net increase of 44,771-units). The Island's population growth over the same period was in the vicinity of 4.5%.
Despite the increase, Vancouver Island's accumulation of vehicles is well below the provincial average of 10.5%, including Metro Vancouver’s rate of 11.18%.
The Island’s most popular newly acquired passenger vehicles continue to be gas or diesel-powered cars, trucks and vans with 430,000 operating on local roadways. That's 30,000, or 7.5%, more than just four years prior.
The data shows that hybrid cars, or part-time electric vehicles and part-time gas powered vehicles, reached their popularity peak on Vancouver Island in 2015 when they numbered 6,500-units. By 2016, however, their use dropped by nearly 20% to 5,300-units, or just 800-units more than in 2012.
Electric vehicles – arguably the most talked-about segment of the automobile industry – saw a sharp increase from only 99-units in 2012 to 770 in 2016. That being the case, between 2015 and 2016 new vehicle uptake in that sector saw only 50 new vehicles, or 7% growth, after four years of gains reaching as high as 106% per annum. 2017 data will help determine if 2016 was an anomaly for the sector or an indicator that manufacturers have more work ahead of them and could benefit from additional government subsidies to attract larger volumes of consumers.
Commercial vehicles marginally increased from 150,000-units in 2012 to 160,000-units in 2016 while motorhomes numbered 9,200 in 2012 and 9,500 in 2016.
The number of motorcycles and mopeds rose at the highest rate of all vehicle categories. Over ICBC’s data period 3,000 new units were registered on the Island and brought the total to 27,000, a growth rate of 12.5%.
Data for 2017 is expected to be released by the late winter or early spring of this year, according to an ICBC media relations representative. ICBC's new data warehouse technology also promises to expedite future releases of data captured by the organization. C

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