Shift to buying electric and hybrid cars accelerates

Electric vehicles account for 17% of all new vehicles licensed in the State so far this year

The switch to electric motoring continues apace, with new figures showing another big increase in electric car sales.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the number of new electric cars licensed in the State rose 46 per cent to 9,828 in the first four months of 2023.

The agency also noted that 17 per cent of all new cars licensed for the first time during the four-month period were electric, compared with 13 per cent in the same period last year.

A further 8,367 hybrid vehicles were registered during the period along with 6,212 plug in hybrids.


Despite long-standing concerns over the availability of public charging infrastructure, the Government hopes to double EV sales this year as part of a wider plan to phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles altogether.

It plans to have almost a million EVs on the road by 2030, comprising 845,000 cars and a further 100,000 vans, trucks and buses.

The latest CSO figures indicate that overall the number of new cars licensed in the Republic in the first four months was 57,130.

Some 20,265 new cars licensed were petrol cars, compared with 14,015 in the same period in 2022, an increase of 45 per cent. At the same time, the number of new diesel cars licensed decreased by 7 per cent in the same period (12,456, down from 13,340).

The number of used cars licensed in the first four months of 2023 rose 5 per cent compared with the same period in 2022 (16,022, up from 15,287).

Volkswagen (1,409) was the most popular make of new private car licensed in April followed by Toyota (1,346), Skoda (1,054), Kia (900) and Peugot (613). Together, these five makes represent just under a half (47 per cent) of all new private cars licensed in April.

Commenting on the data, the CSO’s Nele van der Wielen said: “Today’s figures from the CSO show the continued growth in the number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles licensed in Ireland.”

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times