Rapid uptake of electric cars in Ireland, latest CSO data shows

16 Oct 2023

Image: © unlimit3d/Stock.adobe.com

Overall, there has been a 9pc drop in the total number of cars licensed up to September this year in Ireland.

There has been a 52pc increase in the number of new electric cars licensed in Ireland in the first nine months of this year, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

In its latest report of vehicles licensed for the first time published today (16 October), the CSO found that 19pc of all new cars licensed between January and September this year were electric compared with 14pc over the same period last year.

Overall, CSO figures show that there has been a 9pc drop in the total number of cars licensed up to September this year in Ireland, down 433 vehicles compared to last year.

The gap between the number of new electric and diesel cars is also narrowing, with slightly more than a fifth (22pc) of new private cars licensed since January being diesel. This marks a significant drop from the 27pc share new diesel cars had in the same period last year.

Figures also show that the number of used cars licensed up to September 2023 increased by 4pc to 37,591 while the number of used and imported diesel cars  dropped by 7pc to 11,916.

Volkswagen was the most popular maker of new cars in the period reported on by the CSO. This was followed by followed by Skoda, Toyota, Kia and Hyundai. Together, these five makers represent just under half of all new private cars licensed until September 2023.

Dr Nele van der Wielen, a statistician in the transport section of the CSO, said that the latest figures show the continued growth in the number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles licensed in Ireland.

“In the period January to September 2023, 36,407 new cars licensed were petrol cars compared with 27,915 in the same period in 2022, an increase of 30pc. At the same time, new diesel cars licensed have decreased by 4pc in the same period,” van der Wielen said.

Earlier this year, Tesla, the world’s largest electric car maker, opened its second Irish sales and service centre in Cork.

John O’Keeffe, who recently took over as CEO of electric vehicle (EV) charging company ePower, said that the latest growth in the number of new electric cars year on year is “hugely positive”.

“They also echo industry figures that showed EVs of all kinds outpaced both diesel and petrol in September 2023 for the first time. The Irish consumer and business communities are really embracing EVs,” O’Keeffe said.

“It is really important that charging infrastructure keeps pace and we must build more fast charging to encourage the commercial van fleet in particular to switch to electric.”

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic