Sales of electric cars rise as industry calls for incentives to remain

Number of new cars registered falls in September, but is up 19% for first nine months

The number of new cars registered in the Republic for the first nine months is up 19.1 per cent versus the same period a year earlier. However, car registrations are down 11.7 per cent when compared to January to September 2019.

Overall, 100,646 new cars have been registered to date this year, compared to 85,515 for the same nine months in 2020, and 113,945 in 2019.

New figures compiled by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show the number of new cars registered last month was down 22 per cent, but was 29.5 per cent higher than in September 2019.

Overall, 4,426 new car registrations were recorded last month, as against 5,651 for September 2020 and 3,418 for September 2019.

There have been 7,827 new electric vehicles (EV) registered in the year to date, up 117 per cent on the same period in 2020. Last month 775 new EVs were registered, up 18 per cent compared to the 659 vehicles registered in September 2020.

Electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids and hybrids continue to increase their market share. Combined they account for 31.2 per cent of the market, versus 33.8 per cent of diesel cars and 32.3 per cent of petrol-powered vehicles.

SIMI noted the rise in sales of EVs, and urged the Government to provide certainty and support for consumers in Budget 2020.

Director general Brian Cooke said any proposals to increase vehicle registration tax (VRT)on low emitting cars or to withdraw EV supports would only serve to have a detrimental effect on reducing carbon emissions.

The price of all-electric cars could jump by about €4,100 under Budget 2021 tax changes recently proposed by the Department of Finance’s Tax Strategy Group.

“The EV numbers this year speak for themselves; the industry has supplied the cars and the Government has provided the incentives, thus allowing consumers to make strong environmental choices. By keeping on this pathway we can continue to provide the retail environment to help drive down emissions,” said Mr Cooke.

Some 4,952 used cars were imported last month, down from, 9,520 in September 2020. In the year to date used imports are up 4 per cent to 51,136 versus 2020, but down 38 per cent compared to the 82,435 cars registered in the first nine months of 2019.

Some 26,533 new light commercial vehicle registrations have been made so far this year, up 40 per cent on the same period in 2020. Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) registrations are up 25.5 per cent year-on-year.