Electric and plug-in models now account for 15% of new car sales

Motor industry warns changes to grants will undermine climate targets

Electric and plug-in vehicles now account for over 15 per cent of new car sales. However, the motor industry has warned that changes to the grants for electric and plug-in vehicles will undermine efforts to meet targets set out in the Climate Action Plan.

Figures from the Society of the Irish Motor industry show registrations of all-electric vehicles make up 8.2 per cent of sales, up from 4.5 per cent this time last year, while plug-in hybrids account for 7.5 per cent of the new car market.

In October the Government announced that €2,500 grant for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will be removed from January 1st. The SEAI grant was already cut last July, from €5,000 to €2,500.

Brian Cooke, Simi director general said: "It is simply too soon to start eroding the current EV supports, but the recent and sudden removal of the PHEV Grant sends a bad signal to motorists and the industry.


“It is not too late to reverse this, and we would again urge the Government to re-instate this support for those vehicles that the Industry and consumers have already committed to,” he said.

Total new car sales to the end of November were 104,564, up 19.2 per cent on this time last year, but 10.5 per cent down on pre-Covid 2019.

November’s registrations – never a strong month for new car sales – stood at 1,131, up from 761 last year.

Best-selling new car brand

Toyota remains the best-selling new car brand with a 12.4 per cent market share, driven largely by the popularity of hybrid models which make up most of its fleet.

Volkswagen is second with a 12 per cent market share, followed by Hyundai with 10.3 per cent and Skoda with 8.6 per cent.

Hyundai's Tucson is the best-selling model on the market with 5,466 registrations so far this year, ahead of the Toyota Corolla with 4,305 and the Toyota Yaris with 2,697.

Volkswagen's ID.4 is the best-selling electric car with 1,426 registrations, followed by its sibling the ID.3 on 1,269. These are followed by the Kia Niro electric with 835 registrations and the Tesla Model 3 with 771.

BMW leads the market for plug-in hybrids, ahead of Kia and Volvo. The German brand's X5 SUV is the best-seller in this market segment with 625 registrations, ahead of three models from Kia: the Ceed, Niro and Sorento.

The success of the X5 has helped push BMW into the overall lead at the premium end of the new car market. BMW, with a 4.26 per cent market share, has overtaken Audi with 4.06 per cent.

In terms of buyers, there has been a noticeable recovery in the hire drive market, with 7,953 registrations so far this year, compared to just 2,916 this time last year.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times