Irish EV Sales Decline Contrasts with Gains in France and Belgium  – Geotab


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Commenting on SIMI’s May sales data, GEOTAB Vice President, EMEA, David Savage said: “The -39.1% fall in EV sales in May means that we have now seen a decline in six of the last nine months, which can only be described as shocking. While there is a general negative sentiment about Electric Vehicles at the moment, the situation in Ireland has to be put into context. What we are seeing here is outside the norm. Last month Ireland recorded the second biggest year-on-year fall in EV sales across the EU27, with a decline of -41.6%. In contrast, France and Belgium saw significant increases of 45.2% and 41.6%. This just goes to show that it is within the Government’s gift to put EV sales back on a positive trajectory when the right combination of incentives, infrastructure and policy is in place.

“The Government needs to urgently intervene and put a new subsidy scheme in place that makes EVs more affordable, with incentives in place that specifically cater for lower-income households and looks to take higher polluting older ICE vehicles off the roads. Separate from that, charging anxiety needs to be tackled with up-weighted investment in infrastructure so people have the same level of confidence in getting from A to B as other drivers. The contrast in hybrid sales compared to battery EVs highlights that the public simply doesn’t have faith in the public charging infrastructure as things stand. There is also merit in a communications campaign by ZEVI which dispels misinformation about the environmental benefit of zero-emission vehicles.

“The recently announced National Road EV Charging Network Plan lacks any real ambition in terms of charging infrastructure and simply brings Ireland into line with EU requirements to have recharging stations every 60 km for cars as part of the ‘Fit for 55 in 2030 package’. The reality of the situation is that Ireland ranks as the third worst-performing country in the EU27 according to figures compiled by Transport & Environment, in terms of meeting its 2024 EU target. In contrast, Transport & Environment’s analysis shows that Bulgaria’s current EV infrastructure deployment is almost seven times ahead of its target and meets its 2030 requirements already. If Bulgaria is already ahead of the curve, there is no reason that Ireland cannot show real ambition and double down on reaching its targets ahead of time. This would help to tackle charging anxiety, which is one of the biggest hurdles for boosting the public’s interest in EVs.

“The most perplexing thing in the midst of plummeting sales every month is that the Government continues to publicly commit to its target of having 945,000 zero-emission vehicles on the roads by 2030. Two years ago – at a time when sales were on an upward growth trajectory – the Department of Transport’s internal projections pointed to missing that goal by approximately 50%. Given the turnaround in consumer attitudes to EVs, surely it is time to draw a line in the sand and put a new strategy in place given the vital importance of reducing transport emissions in terms of meeting Ireland’s legally binding targets as part of the National Climate Plan.”