Wednesday 24 July 2019

Revealed: Most popular electric cars as more shoppers eye green vehicles

Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona

Shawn Pogatchnik

The Hyundai Kona is the top-selling battery-powered car in Ireland and around a quarter of car shoppers say they're planning to make their next purchase an electric or a hybrid, a motor industry review has found.

Of more than 1,000 prospective buyers surveyed in the April-June quarter, a narrow majority - 52pc - said they still plan to make their next car a diesel, the fuel that powers three out of every four vehicles on Irish roads.

But around a quarter said they intend to go green, by buying either a hybrid (17pc) or fully electric vehicle (9pc).

This is reflected in strong sales growth for 191-plated electric and hybrid cars, the report found, with electric car sales through June totalling 1,954 units - more than for the whole of 2018. The Hyundai Kona accounted for 37pc of all electric sales, the Nissan Leaf 33pc and a trio of competitors - the Volkswagen e-Golf, the Renault Zoe and BMW i3 - splitting the rest.

Toyota dominates Irish sales of new hybrids, producing the four most popular makes led by the Corolla.

“With the Government target of 2030 as the year that 100pc of all cars on Irish roads will be electric, the data in this report highlights that consumers already are making the switch,” said Martin Clancy, marketing manager of DoneDeal.ie, which compiled the report published Wednesday.

Among manufacturers as a whole, Volkswagen narrowly remains in pole position, accounting for nearly 11pc of all new car registrations in the first half of 2019. Toyota and Hyundai trail close behind.

Ford, in fourth place, saw sales fall the most - 14.6pc - from the first half of 2018. Skoda was the only brand in the top five to manage growth in sales versus 2018, ekeing out a 2.5pc gain.

In terms of specific models, the Nissan Qashqai was the top-selling new car in the first half of 2019, followed by the Hyundai Tucson and the Toyota Corolla.

With the euro’s strength versus the pound, imports of used UK vehicles are on the rise this year. Growth appears particularly strong at the luxury end of the market, with imports of the Mercedes-Benz E class and C class both more than 30pc higher versus the first half of 2018.

The Volkswagen Golf remains the most popular used import overall, while the Volkswagen brand continues to top the second-hand market with nearly 43,000 changing hands in the first six months of the year.

Online Editors

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