State targets over 585,000 electric car registrations in last three years of decade

Government’s Climate Action Plan target is for 945,000 EVs on the road by 2030

Over 585,000 electric vehicles will need to be added to the national fleet in the last three years of this decade if the Government’s Climate Action Plan target for EVs is to be met. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Over 585,000 electric vehicles will need to be added to the national fleet in the last three years of this decade if the Government’s Climate Action Plan target for EVs is to be met. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

More than 585,000 electric vehicles (EVs) will need to be added to the national fleet in the last three years of this decade if the Government’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) target for EVs is to be met.

The CAP target is for 945,000 EVs on the road by 2030, including 840,000 private cars. There are currently more than 46,000 EVs registered on Irish roads.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan recently outlined the department’s projected uptake of EVs in the national fleet for the CAP analysis, with percentage annual increases of between 28.4 per cent and 50.8 per cent per year.

Based on the suggested year-on-year increase in EVs to the national fleet, one group of Irish motor dealers estimates by 2029 we will need to add nearly 210,000 EVs to the fleet and a further 219,000 in 2030 to meet the planned target.

According to Cork motor dealer Denis Murphy, 59 per cent of the Government’s target has been pushed into the last three years of the decade, with 22 per cent or 219,000 EV units in the last year 2030.

Used imports

More than 16,000 fully-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were added this year, but under the Government’s model by 2025 a further 62,000 EVs will join the fleet that year.

New car sales in 2019 – the last pre-Covid year – totalled 117,109, with a further 113,926 used imports. However, used imports fell significantly on the back of Brexit.

A Department of Transport spokesperson said the Government’s model assumes a 12.3 per cent growth in the total car fleet between now and the end of 2030. “In practice, this works out to an average of 140,000 new registrations (plus 43,000 second-hand imports) of private cars per annum – although this may vary year to year across the decade.

“This is not based on economic growth assumptions but derived expected demographic growth to 2030 (CSO data), alongside historic data on levels of new registrations, and an estimate of the long-term impact of Brexit.”

According to the department spokesperson: “It should be noted, rather than setting a target, the year on year percentage growth is a modelled scenario and is just one possible way of getting from where Ireland is now to where Ireland needs to be in 2030 to meet the CAP targets – however it is more realistic than assuming straight-line growth.”

Assumption

On the growth of the national fleet, the spokesperson said the 1 per cent per annum compound growth in the size of the total car fleet is an input assumption, “rather than an output generated by a specific set of economic/demographic forecasts”.

It also takes account of the number of cars scrapped or written off each year as a percentage of the on-the-road total at the start of the year. That percentage is taken as 7.4 per cent.

“This growth in the total car fleet is less than the average 1.4 per cent per annum growth observed in the Irish car fleet between 2010 and 2020, but we felt that this reduced growth was reasonable, given the uncertainties over Brexit and Covid combined with CSO population projections to 2030.”

The spokesperson said the modelling for vans, HGVs and electric buses have slightly different assumptions, as the purchase pattern for each of these categories is different to that for private passenger cars.