Irish electric vehicle sales forecast to double in 2021

Kearys Motor Group projects 2021 to be the year the power of the zero-emission electric vehicle will change the motor industry like never before. 

Irish sales of electric vehicles (EVs) could be on track to double in 2021 due to ongoing EU directives and Irish Government laws on climate action.

As a result, the local motor industry is gearing up to meet increased demand for low-to-zero carbon emission vehicles.

“The time is right for electric vehicles – in fact the time is now critical”

Ireland still has a very high percentage of diesel car ownership at 43pc of vehicles while electric vehicle ownership currently stands at only 4.3pc in Q4 2020.

In a recent interview, Bank of Ireland’s head of Motor Sector Stephen Healy indicated that higher car prices are also on the way due to VRT changes announced in Budget 2021 and the interpretation by the Irish Government of EU recommendations around the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). VRT relief will continue for EVs up to €40,000 but reduces for amounts between €40-50k and will no longer apply for amounts above €50,000.

EVs rise in popularity

Man in blue jacket standing in motor dealership.

Brendan Keary, director of Kearys Motory Group

According to Brendan Keary, director of Kearys Motory Group and managing director of CarStore in Dublin and Cork, throughout 2020, electric vehicles (EVs) became an increasingly popular choice among buyers.

He said more people are choosing to go electric because there are more compelling reasons to do so. As well as being more sustainable and cheaper to run and maintain, manufacturers are continually launching new EV models with futuristic designs, to give customers the best battery range and increased functionality.

“At Kearys, we are seeing the power of zero, and it has the power to change everything. The time is right for electric vehicles – in fact the time is now critical.’’

“’Kearys is leading the charge on electric as we sell some of the leading brands in Ireland – the Renault ZOE, Hyundai KONA and Ioniq, Nissan LEAF, Mini Electric and a huge range of BMW PHEVs. 2021 is the year we project EV sales to double.’’

Electric fleet revs up

Although the Tesla 3 remains the world’s best-selling EV over the past three years, the Nissan LEAF takes pole position as Ireland and the world’s top selling EV over the past decade. Renault has claimed best-selling EV manufacturer in Ireland in 2020, following the launch of the all new Renault ZOE and a massive order of Kangoo EVs for An Post’s electric fleet.

The Hyundai Kona, launched in 2019 boasts a range of 449km WTLP and the all new Hyundai Ioniq EV, launched in 2020, is a distinctive luxury saloon EV.

Keary said innovators, BMW have dramatically improved the EV range, introducing the i4, iXEV and iX3 next year and have substantially extended the BMW Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) range across the board. Not forgetting the highly successful launch of the Mini Electric in 2020.

Kearys Nissan in Cork reports LEAF has many cost saving advantages for families, businesses and taxi drivers with scrappage offers, 0pc finance and a free home charger with Electric Ireland. For example, driving 20,000km – equating to approx. a whole year of driving – costs each driver a mere €250 to run. This is based on 8c/kwh night rate electricity.

The Renault ZOE has the most affordable introductory price for a new EV in the Irish market this year and, together with its ‘green grant,’ has just launched its new E-TECH hybrid across the Clio, Captur and Megane ‘unplugged’ range for 2021.

As well as providing advice on the best EVs for customers’ needs, home charging suppliers and arranging test drives, Kearys also stocks one of the largest EV ranges in Ireland and supplied Cork City Council with 75 EVs for its fleet this year as well as many local businesses to avail of the sustainable and financial benefits.

According to Brian Purcell, Nissan Ireland, the Irish BEV market (Battery Electric Vehicles) almost tripled over 2018, from 1233 (and 0.98pc market share) to 3444 in 2019, and a more significant 2.94pc market share in 2019.

At the end of October 2020, BEVs made up 4.45pc of the Irish car market to date, again a significant growth in market share.

“Not only are EV sales up this year by almost 20pc compared to 2019, but diesel and petrol car sales are down by 25pc for the same period. Kearys anticipate this trend to continue and to multiply into 2021 and far beyond,” Keary said.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 30 November, 2020