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28/10/2021

Dramatic drop in car sales as drivers opt for electric

Dramatic drop in car sales as drivers opt for electric

New vehicle registrations have fallen by over 20 per cent when compared with the same time last year, latest figures show. 

However, this has been offset somewhat by a dramatic increase in the sale of of electric vehicles according to official new vehicle statistics released by Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) on Friday.

A total of 7,827 new electric cars registered year to date in comparison to 3,613 on the same period 2020 (+117%).

SIMI claims in order to present a more accurate picture of the new vehicle registrations, it is important to compare registrations totals with the same period in 2019 (pre-COVID) when businesses were fully operational.

Light Commercials Vehicles (LCV) saw a decrease of 1,701 registrations compared to September last year 2,250 and an increase on 1,336 registrations for the same month in 2019. Year to date 26,533 new LCVs were registered, an increase on last year’s 18,951 (+40.0%) and on 23,240 in 2019 (+14.2%).

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) saw an increase of 225 registrations in September when compared to 159 in September 2020 and 146 September 2019. In the year to date HGV's registrations total 2,261 compared with 1,801 in 2020 (+25.5%) and 2,355 in 2019 (-4%).

4,952 used cars were imported in September 2021, compared with 9,520 imports in September 2020, and a decrease on the 10,221 imports in September 2019. Year to date used imports are up 4% (51,136) on 2020 (49,188) and down 38% on 2019 (82,435).

775 new electric vehicles were registered in September compared to 659 in September 2020 (+18%).

Electric Vehicle, Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids continue to increase their market share, with their combined market share now over 31.22%. Diesel now accounts for 33.81%, Petrol 32.32%, Hybrid 16.26%, Electric 7.78% and Plug-in Electric Hybrid 7.18%.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General said: “Despite a 22% (4,426 units) decline in total new car registrations for the month of September, the electric vehicle segment has seen an increase of 18% (775 units) when compared to the same month last year. "With an annual growth rate of 117%, the upward trend in Electric Vehicles is hugely positive, but would not have been achieved without the availability of the generous Government incentives.

"In this context, SIMI is calling on the Irish Government to provide certainty and support for consumers by showing its support for the EV project. Any proposals to increase Vehicle Registration Tax on low emitting cars or to withdraw Electric Vehicle supports would only serve to have a detrimental effect reducing carbon emissions," Mr Cooke said. 

SIMI says with both the detail of the Climate Action Plan and Budget 2022 imminent, now is the time for Government to show leadership and help motorists make the best possible choices.

"This means for Budget 2022, no increases in VRT, the extension of both the EV Grant system and 0% Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) beyond the current expiry dates and, in conjunction with private enterprise, investment in a national charging infrastructure," Mr Cooke said. 

"As we start on the road to zero emissions transport, increasing taxes makes no sense and penalises those who want to make better environmental choices. The EV numbers this year speak for themselves; the Industry has supplied the cars and the Government has provided the incentives, thus allowing consumers to make strong environmental choices.

"By keeping on this pathway, we can continue to provide the retail environment to help drive down emissions,” Mr Cooke said. 

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