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Calls for Government to reinstate plug-in grant as sales of new electric cars more than double


An electric car charging

An electric car charging

An electric car charging

THE number of people who bought a new electric car this year has more than doubled.

Latest figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (Simi) show 8,342 EVs (electric vehicles) were registered in the year to date, compared with 3,867 for the corresponding period in 2020 – an increase of more than 100pc.

EVs, plug-ins and hybrids now account for nearly one-in-three (31.52pc) purchases of new vehicles. Hybrids lead the way with a 16.14pc market share, with EVs on 8.08pc and plug-ins on 7.3pc.

In contrast, diesel now accounts for one-third of sales (33.63pc), with petrol on 32.16pc.

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The Simi data also shows that 2,646 new cars were registered in October – up from 2,296 in October 2020.

Of these, 522 were electric vehicles, more than double the level of sales for the corresponding month last year.

Overall, this year 103,253 new cars have been registered – a 19pc increase on 2020.

Used imports are down however, to 4,401 last month, compared with 9,316 in October 2020. Year to date, used imports fell 5.1pc (55,538) on 2020.

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Brian Cooke, Simi director general, said that while registrations are up on last year, new-car sales are still behind pre-COVID levels.

But he welcomed as “hugely positive” the year-on-year growth in the sales of both electric cars and plug-ins.

However, he said the recent sudden removal of the grant incentive for plug-ins only serves to undermine consumer confidence in lower-emitting technologies.

He called for the incentive – worth €2,500 – to be reinstated for vehicles already committed to by both the industry and consumers.

Mr Cooke said: “Looking forward to 2022 and beyond, it is vital that the current supports for EVs are extended until 2025, along with State and private investment in a countrywide charging infrastructure.

“If we want to rapidly electrify the Irish car and commercial fleet, the industry and Government must work together to give consumers real choice.”

He said the motor industry can supply more and more electric vehicles as the decade progresses, but the consumer also needs the Government to continue its support, to help them make the transition

Meanwhile, the top-five selling brands in October were: 1. Toyota; 2. Volkswagen; 3. Hyundai; 4. Skoda; 5. Ford. The Top-five models were: 1. Hyundai Tucson; 2. Toyota Corolla; 3. Toyota Yaris; 4. Volkswagen Tiguan; 5. Toyota Rav4.

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