Official statistics released this week by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that the total new electric car registrations for the month of February have shown a significant increase with 330 registered in comparison to just 72 in the same month last year.
Year to date 1,129 have been registered in the first two months of this year, which has almost surpassed the total sales for the whole of 2018 (1,233).
The performance of the rest of the car market tells a different story, with new car registrations for the month of February down 11.1% (15,128) when compared to February 2018 (17,011). Registrations year to date are also down 12.2% (47,425) on the same period last year (54,034).
Light Commercials vehicles are also down 5.6% (2,486) compared to February last year (2,634), and year to date are down 13.4% (8,132). While HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 9.5% (266) in comparison to February 2019 (243), however year to date they are down 3.7% (621).
Imported Used Cars for February (8,861) have seen a very slight decrease of 0.4% on February 2018 (8,900) and year to date are down 0.5% (17,865) on 2018 (17,961)
Mr Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, said: “The record growth in electric vehicles sales in 2019 demonstrates the willingness of Irish consumers to embrace the change to a low carbon future.
“The Government is playing its part with a wide range of incentives supporting the purchase of electric vehicles and an investment of €10m in a significant expansion of the public charging network.
“The environmental benefits, longer range and low running costs of modern electric vehicles make them a viable option for all consumers. I would encourage all those purchasing a new car to play their part in making Ireland a climate leader and choose to drive electric.
“The environmental benefits, longer range and low running costs of modern electric vehicles make them a viable option for all consumers. I would encourage all those purchasing a new car to play their part in making Ireland a climate leader and choose to drive electric.”
Commenting on the overall figures Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General Designate said: “With Brexit looming, new vehicle registrations continue to be negatively impacted across nearly all of our Industry. However, the one exception is the sales of Electric Vehicles, which increased by 542% this year compared to last year, and by the end of this quarter we will have sold more, new EVS than in the whole of last year.
“This increase is a result of a concerted effort by all stakeholders; by the Industry in supplying more, new EVS with greater travel range; by the Government through the generous taxation and other incentives; and by SEAI with their grant scheme.
“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.”