Electric and hybrid vehicles now account for over 10% of Irish car sales

CSO figures show sales of electric vehicles rose by 157 per cent to 2,904 this year

New car sales figures reflect the gradual shift to greener motoring. Photograph:  Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

New car sales figures reflect the gradual shift to greener motoring. Photograph: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

 

Electric and hybrid vehicles now account for more than 10 per cent of car sales in the Republic.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show 107,686 new private cars were taxed for the first time, a decrease of 7.1 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The decline was down to falling sales of new cars as buyers here opted to import used models from the UK, taking advantage of the current weakness in sterling.

The figures show electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles accounted for 10.5 per cent (19,718) of all private cars for which motor tax was paid for the first time in the Republic during up to the end of September.

Greener motoring

This compared with 6.7 per cent for the same period last year and reflects the gradual shift to greener motoring. Sales of new EVs rose by 157 per cent to 2,904 for the period.

Despite the leap in sales, the overall take-up of EVs in Ireland remains modest by international standards. Experts link this to cost – basic electric car models start at over €30,000 – and range anxiety.

Nonetheless the uptick in EV sales contrasts with the slump in the traditional car market.

Motorists here have been taking advantage of the favourable exchange rate to buy used premium models in the UK over new models in the Republic.

In the first nine months of 2019 Volkswagen (12,498) was the most popular make of new private car licensed, followed by Toyota (11,085), Hyundai (9,943), Ford (8,570) and Skoda (8,360). Together, these five makes represented almost half (46.9 per cent) of all new private cars licensed to the end of the third quarter of 2019.