Surge in electric car sales in 2019 sees number sold almost match last year's total
SALES of electric cars in the first two months of the year has almost reached the total number sold for all of 2018, new figures reveal.
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has reported that 1,129 electric cars have been registered in January and February.
That compares to total sales of 1,233 for all of last year and is a 542pc increase in the numbers bought in the first two months of 2018.
The sale of electric vehicles is bucking the trend elsewhere in the market where new car registrations are down 12.2pc over the same period last year.
Environment minister Richard Bruton said the record growth in electric vehicles being sold demonstrates "the willingness of Irish consumers to embrace the change to a low carbon future."
Mr Bruton said the government has introduced a range of incentives supporting the purchase of electric vehicles and invested of €10m in a significant expansion of the public charging network.
He added: "The environmental benefits, longer range and low running costs of modern electric vehicles make them a viable option for all consumers."
He encouraged people buying a new car to "to play their part in making Ireland a climate leader and choose to drive electric.”
SIMI director general designate Brian Cooke commented on the overall figures.
He said: “With Brexit looming, new vehicle registrations continue to be negatively impacted across nearly all of our Industry."
There have been 47,425 new car registrations to date compared to 54,034 in the same period last year.
On the issue of electric vehicles Mr Cooke predicted that the numbers bought in the first quarter of 2019 will exceed last year's total.
He added: "Ireland’s transition to a zero emitting fleet will take a number of years to happen, but the co-operative approach by the Industry and the State thus far bodes well for the future.”