Some 85% of EV drivers say running costs are cheaper, but upfront outlay still a deterrent for many

Survey finds majority of Irish EV owners do not intend to return to traditional petrol or diesel cars

Some 85 per cent of electric vehicle (EV) drivers say their running costs are cheaper than their previous petrol or diesel cars, but a new survey has found that the upfront cost of buying an EV is still a deterrent for about a third of car buyers.

A survey of 937 Irish car buyers, conducted by car sales platform DoneDeal this month, found the majority of Irish EV owners do not intend to return to traditional petrol or diesel cars. Some 62 per cent of those who drive an EV plan on buying another EV as their next car purchase.

However, the survey found that 55 per cent of EV drivers have experienced “range anxiety” – worrying about whether a vehicle charge is enough to complete a journey – since switching from a traditional petrol or diesel car.

Thirty-three per cent of those who do not plan to buy an EV as their next car say this is due to a preference for petrol or diesel cars, while 27 per cent flagged EVs’ high prices as the main deterrent.

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EVs continue to be more expensive than their traditional counterparts in Ireland, but DoneDeal noted that in the months and years ahead, new entrants to the EV market “at various price points” should provide more affordable options for prospective EV buyers.

The platform highlighted that the BYD Atto 3, a recent Chinese entrant to the Irish market, has for the first time entered the top 20 rankings of the most in-demand EVs on DoneDeal, ranking 8th in the past month.

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Fellow Chinese manufacturer MG was also represented in the top 20 of most in demand new models, as the MG4 placed 11th.

In terms of other barriers to buying electric, 13 per cent of those surveyed said a lack of charging infrastructure was a barrier, 10 per cent said they were unable to charge an EV at home, 10 per cent had doubts about residual value, and 7 per cent said range anxiety would prevent them from buying an EV.

In October, DoneDeal found that demand for new electric vehicles was up 73 per cent compared to the year previously, and demand for premium nearly new models (one to four years old) worth more than €50,000 increased by 55 per cent.

Last month, an electric model, the Volkswagen ID. 4, remained the most popular car across all fuel types.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.