New Car Registrations Up 25% in February 2024 but EV sector is ‘Stuck In The Mud’

Top Selling Car (February) 2024: SKODA OCTAVIA

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The Society of the Irish Motor Industry – SIMI  has released their official 241 new vehicle registrations statistics for February.

New car registrations for February were up 25% (16,455) when compared to February 2023 (13,122). Registrations year to date are up 18.3% (47,882) on the same period last year (40,466).

Light Commercial vehicles (LCVs) increased by 36.8% (3,515) compared to February last year (2,569). Year to date LCVs are up 35.6% (10,987). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 14.2% (305) in comparison to February 2023 (267). Year to date HGVs are up 10.3% (763).

Imported Used Cars have seen a 24% (4,945) rise in February 2024, when compared to February 2023 (3,989). Year to date imports are up 32.1% (10,270) on 2023 (7,775).

In February 1,866 new electric cars were registered, which was 15.5% lower than the 2,207 registrations in February 2023. So far this year 5,968 new electric cars have been registered which is a 1.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023 when 5,885 electric cars were registered.

In the new car market share by engine type for 2024, Petrol cars continue to lead the new car market at 32.97%. Diesel is next at 23.76%, then Hybrid (Petrol Electric) at 21.51%, Electric at 12.46%, and Plug-in Electric Hybrid at 7.76%.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commenting: “New car registrations for February show a 25% increase on the same month last year, and year to date are now 18% ahead of 2023. Supply chain issues prevalent at the start of 2023 are no longer impacting on sales. Registrations of light commercial vehicles also show a positive start to the year, up over a third on last year. Electric vehicle (EVs) registrations are down on February last year and are only marginally ahead of the first two months of 2023. 

This slowing down in EV sales is not unique to Ireland and is reflective of other new car markets. It is typical of the life cycle in the adaption of any new technology, where there is a gap between early adapters and the early majority consumers. This is happening at a time when we need to accelerate the growth in EV sales. The electrification of the car fleet is strategically important. It will cut transport emissions and shape the future of the Motor Industry. To speed up the move to EVs in the wider motoring public, the Industry and Government must keep working together. For the Industry, this means the rolling out of more EV models. For Government, it means extending incentives and investing in the national charging infrastructure.”

Irish Electric Vehicles Sales ‘Stuck In The Mud’ According To Latest Data 

 Commenting on SIMI’s January sales data, Vice President, Ireland & UK, David Savage GeoTab said: “January’s Irish electric vehicle sales data highlights that the market is effectively ‘stuck in the mud’, with market share continuing to be pegged at approximately 13% of overall sales. While some might see today’s SIMI data in a positive light, it underlines the huge uphill struggle the Government will have with its 2030 ambition of having 945,000 EVs on Irish roads.

“Today’s figures highlight the damage that reducing EV subsidies has done to the market. Now is the time to reverse course, not only returning subsidies to their previous level, but going above and beyond that by putting supports in place to boost EVs’ popularity. Specific initiatives could include a scrappage scheme for older, high-polluting vehicles; enabling free tolls for specific EV owners, and tailored subsidies for lower-income households as zero emission vehicles remain out of reach for many people.

“The importance of electric vehicles in delivering on Ireland’s climate targets cannot be understated. Minister Ryan has described fleet electrification as the single biggest policy lever within the Climate Action Plan. Yet we are already on the back foot in this regard with the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest Greenhouse Gas Emissions report highlighting that transport was the only sector where emissions rose in 2022. With passenger cars accounting for 53% of emissions in 2021 – more than heavy goods vehicles, light goods vehicles and buses combined – it is vital that we swap out polluting ICE vehicles for EVs.

“It has been apparent for some time now that it is a mathematical impossibility for the Government to reach its 2030 target, unless the entire passenger car market switches to electric vehicle purchases overnight. The figures released today should be setting off alarm bells within Government and hopefully, we will see them changing course by plotting out a new strategy for EVs in Ireland.”