Electric cars outperformed by diesel and petrol

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Electric vehicles

Electric vehicle sales are on the rise

New car sales have dipped by 7.2% in Ireland, although petrol and diesel are still outselling hybrids and EVs by a factor of over 6:1, that’s according to data from Motorcheck.

Looking at overall new and used car sales between January and September 2019, electric vehicles (EVs) saw their stock rise, with an impressive 100% jump in sales year-on-year.

But the actual sales numbers tell a different story: only 3,408 EVs were sold in Ireland between January and September. Meanwhile, hybrids are up from 12,064 to 17,612, a rise of 32% in the same period.

Diesel is still the number one fuel type within overall (new and used) sales, accounting for 112,947 sales, followed by petrol at 64,056 and, in a distant third, Petrol/Electric, followed by EVs.

This might fly in the face of government plans: it was recently announced that they intend for every new vehicle bought from 2030 to be an EV. But with charge points soon to cost money per-charge, a lack of public places to plug in, and a vast market of affordable, fossil-fuelled cars, it seems that incentives are lacking.

Michael Rochford, Managing Director of Motorcheck commented that, “Everyone is rightfully concerned about the environment, and switching to EVs is a positive step to a cleaner, greener world.

“But with inflation continuing to rise, Brexit threatening economic uncertainty and an abundance of cheaper petrol and diesel cars available, electric vehicles are prohibitively expensive for many consumers.

“Add to that the cost of installing a charger at home and the dearth of publicly available charge points, and you have a government promising a result that they haven’t worked towards.”

Rochford added, “Even though electric vehicles can often be cheaper to run than their fossil-fuel counterparts, the initial outlay is often higher. And judging by sales figures, we’re not seeing enough government incentives to encourage drivers to make the switch.”

In the same period, new car sales were 114,376. This is a 7.2% dip from the same period last year, when that number was 123,257. This is disappointing news after 2018, which had already decreased on 2017.

In related news, used imports are up again, 7.3% year on year. Brexit and the plummeting sterling are commonly blamed (as they are for other import/export trends). Volkswagen was the number one make and the biggest selling model is the Volkswagen Golf.

On imported cars, Rochford added, “There have been some voices calling for the ban of imported cars from the UK as, post-Brexit, it causes serious damage to Irish dealers.”