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Electric vehicle sales accelerate in January – SIMI



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Sales of electric vehicles (EV) accelerated over the past month, new figures to be released in the coming days will show.

More than 2,000 electric vehicles had been sold in the country so far this year, said Brian Cooke, director general of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), which will release its new car registration figures for January next week.

It had taken until St Patrick’s Day for an equivalent number of EVs to be sold in 2021 even though sales in the year were ultimately double what they been in 2020, Cooke told the Sunday Independent.

“The market share for EVs is now at 11pc and there is huge demand for them,” he said, adding that it was likely that market share would grow to at least 14pc during 2022. Plug-in hybrids account for a further 10pc of the market so the two categories combined would account for close to 25,000 sales this year compared to about 15,000 last year.

“That’s a substantial jump,” said Cooke. “Dealers can’t get enough EVs and there is huge momentum. The supply and variety of electric vehicles is improving all the time and the range of them is improving. I think it bodes well for the goal of getting more EVs on the road.”

The real tipping point when the sale of EVs overtake the sale of petrol and diesel cars – was two to three years away, he said.

“We don’t have an active used car electric vehicle market yet. When that day happens then I think you will be able to say that we have reached a tipping point.”

He said it was important, that as sales of EVs continue to rise, that the rollout of the charging infrastructure continued to keep pace.

“What we have at the moment is probably good enough for the number of EVs on the roads right now but, particularly outside Dublin, we may need to see the State support that rollout,” he said.

It had been a challenging time for the industry but “there’s always a buzz in the sector in January. Hopefully the Central Bank is right and we have three years of boom ahead and the Ukraine situation doesn’t drag us all down”.

Pre orders for the year ahead had been “really strong, much better than the last two years”, said Cooke, adding that although overall sales for the year to date had been slightly down, this was due to supply issues and would rectify as the year progressed.

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