Fact Sheet

2009 Canadian Vehicle Survey Summary Report

The Canadian Vehicle Survey collects data related to on-road transportation activities and vehicle fuel consumption in Canada. The survey was conducted by Statistics Canada, on behalf of Transport Canada and Natural Resources Canada.

This 2009 summary report describes the characteristics of Canada’s vehicle fleet, patterns in vehicle use and fuel consumption. Overall, the number of vehicles grew an average of 2.0 percent per year over the period of 2000 to 2009, reaching 20.5 million vehicles in 2009. The number of vehicles per household increased from 1.43 to 1.47 for the same period.

Light vehicles (less than 4.5 tonnes [t])

  • The Canadian light vehicle fleet had 19 755 945 vehicles in 2009, up from 16 642 140 in 2000 (an 18.7 percent increase).
  • In 2009, the average light vehicle in Canada was driven 15 336 kilometres (km), down from almost 17 000 km in 2000 or a decrease of 9.3 percent.
  • In 2009, light vehicles primarily used gasoline (96.9 percent). From 2005 to 2009, the fuel consumption rate (FCR) remained relatively constant for light vehicles, but there was a slight increase for gasoline (10.6 to 10.7 litres [L]/100 km) and a decrease for diesel (11.4 to 10.6 L/100 km).
  • Over the period of 2000 to 2009, the share of the light truck category (SUVs, vans and pickup trucks) increased substantially relative to the share of cars. SUVs almost doubled their share, while the share of cars decreased from 60.5 percent to 55.4 percent.

Fuel consumption rates for light vehicles, 2005 to 2009.

Share of light vehicles by body type, 2000 and 2009.

Medium trucks (between 4.5 and 15 t) and heavy trucks (15 t or more)

  • Medium trucks was the fastest growing vehicle category over the 2000 to 2009 period. In fact, since 2006, the medium truck fleet increased by 9.7 percent annually – a 32.1 percent increase or an additional 106 330 medium trucks since 2006.
  • Between 2000 and 2009, the fleet of heavy trucks increased by 24.2 percent. In 2009, however, there were 9886 fewer heavy trucks on the road than in 2008.
  • Heavy trucks were driven 67 513 km in 2009 on average. Average annual distances exceeded 90 000 km in Quebec, 80 000 km in Manitoba and 70 000 km in Ontario.
  • In 2009, nearly three quarters (72.2 percent) of fuel consumed by medium trucks was diesel; the remainder was gasoline. From 2005 to 2009, FCRs decreased for medium trucks:
    • 26.4 to 24.4 L/100 km for diesel
    • 26.6 to 25.1 L/100 km for gasoline
  • In 2009, the diesel FCR of heavy trucks was 33.4 L/100 km. This is a 4.9 percent improvement in fuel efficiency since 2005.

Size of truck fleet, 2000 to 2009.

Fuel consumption rates for medium and heavy trucks, 2005 to 2009.

For the complete 2009 Canadian Vehicle Survey Summary Report, visit

Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency
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