Stalling Momentum Behind Irish Electric Vehicle Sales Underscores Challenge of Achieving First Carbon Budget 


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Commenting on SIMI’s November sales data, GEOTAB Vice President, Ireland & UK, David Savage said: “Stalling momentum behind Irish Electric Vehicle sales for the third month in a row due to reduced grants underscores the uphill challenge the Government faces in meeting its first carbon budget. The Government’s own target is to halve the transport sector’s emissions by 2030 as part of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan, but EV sales are nowhere near the levels required to achieve this.

“Passenger cars were responsible for 53% of emissions in 2021 – more than heavy goods vehicles, light goods vehicles and buses combined. Yet there is no sign of the drastic shift required to address this level of emissions as prospective buyers are simply voting with their wallets, with the majority of purchasers opting for traditional ICE vehicles. In the midst of the cost of living crisis and with the average price of an EV increasing 13% to €64,755 according to DoneDeal, a zero emissions vehicle purchase is proving to be outside the grasp of many Irish households without future Government intervention. 

“What continues to be of particular concern is segments like Electric Light Commercial Vehicles proving to be drastically unpopular with buyers. Sales of Electric LCVs year-to-date account for less than 5% of the overall market, which should be a serious indicator to the Government that targeted intervention is required to fundamentally change purchase behaviour for the segment.

“The Government continues to refer to a target of having 945,000 electric vehicles on the roads by 2030, yet its own internal estimate is that there will be only 416,000 EVs on Irish roads by 2030. Surely it is time to publicly reforecast its own EV targets or set a New Year’s resolution to deliver incentives that will kickstart the market. As things stand, it continues to be a mathematical impossibility for the Government to reach its 2030 target, unless the entire passenger car market switches to electric vehicle purchases overnight.”