The number of electric vehicles registered in Ireland last year was more than double that of 2020, according to new data from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).
It comes as new vehicle registrations in 2021 jumped by almost a fifth (19%) on 2020, although they remained over 10 per cent lower than pre-Covid 2019.
The latest figures from SIMI show that there were 104,932 new cars registered in 2021 compared to 88,325 for the same period in 2020 (+18.8%) and 117,109 in 2019 (-10.40%).
However 8,646 new electric cars were registered in 2021 compared to 4,013 on the same period 2020 (+115.4%) and 3,444 in 2019 (+151.0%).
Imported used cars saw 63,617 registrations, a decrease of 20.4 per cent on 2020 (79,969) and a decrease of 44.2 per cent on 2019 (113,926).
According to SIMI, diesel accounted for 33.44 per cent of car sales last year, while petrol (32.16%), hybrid (16.22%), electric (8.24%), and plug-in hybrid (7.26%) made up the remainder.
Diesel remains the most popular engine type despite a decline in its market share last year (9.85%) while hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid continue to gain market share in 2021.
Manual transmissions accounted for just over half (50.95%) of the market share in 2021, while automatic transmissions (48.93%) continued to increase their popularity.
The hatchback remained Ireland’s top selling car body type of 2021, according to SIMI. While grey is the top selling colour and has continued to keep that title for the past six years.
The Hyundai Tucson was the top selling car model here last year, followed by Toyota’s Corolla and Yaris. The Japanese brand was also Ireland’s number one selling manufacturer in 2021, with Volkswagen and Hyundai coming in second and third respectively.
Meanwhile, new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations in 2021 saw an increase of 32.3 per cent (28,741) compared to 2020 (21,732) and +13.4 per cent 2019 (25,336).
New heavy commercial vehicle registrations (HGV) last year saw an increase of 31.5 per cent (2,716) in comparison to 2020 (2,066) and +2.1 per cent on 2019 (2,659).
Brian Cooke, SIMI director general said thanks to the sale of electric vehicles being underpinned by SEAI Grants, “we can expect to see an increasing number of new EVs on Irish roads in 2022”.
“The Industry is hopeful that 2022 will see further improvements in business levels,” Mr Cooke said. “Pre-orders do indicate a strong appetite for new and used cars, providing a positive outlook for our industry and with a return to pre-pandemic 2019 new car sales levels expected.
“However, even these anticipated sales will not be sufficient to reduce Ireland’s ageing car fleet. We need to see significant growth in the years ahead if we want to optimise the benefits of reduced emissions from new cars.”
He added: “We will see annual increases in Electric Vehicle sales, but the extent of their penetration into the fleet will not only be determined by the increased choice of EVs been supplied but also by the continuation of Government supports.”