AA Ireland calls for more EV incentives with demand for diesel still high

2 Jan 2020

Image: © ake1150/Stock.adobe.com

A new AA Ireland survey has prompted the organisation to call on the Government to bring in more incentives to boost EV adoption.

Despite the Government aiming to have 1m electric vehicles (EVs) on Irish roads by 2030, a new survey suggests that many buyers are still looking to diesel to power their next car. AA Ireland recently conducted a survey of more than 8,000 Irish motorists, where they were asked what type of car they would like for their next purchase in 2020.

Of those asked, 38.42pc said they would be looking for a diesel car while 23.22pc said they are interested in a petrol vehicle. While just 7.41pc said that they would be looking for an EV, 27.61pc said they would look to get a hybrid car.

Writing in a blog post, the organisation said that the last two Government budgets have “failed to deliver anything substantive” when it comes to offering financial assistance to encourage faster EV adoption.

“The openness to hybrid vehicles does show that consumers are aware and concerned about the impact of their transport on CO2 emissions, but we then see a noticeable drop off in those who say they are willing to consider a fully electric car,” said Conor Faughnan, AA Ireland director of consumer affairs.

Ireland versus Europe

“While improvements in technology have largely addressed the concerns about mileage range, many are still put off by the high costs of a new EV,” he added.

“Whether it is additional grants or scrappage schemes, we need to start thinking of methods of making these vehicles more affordable or consumers will continue to purchase fossil fuel-powered cars into the future.”

A recent comparison survey of European EV incentives showed Ireland has six incentives for EV adoption including purchase subsidies and the cheapest rate of road tax. This puts it in line with nations such as Germany, the UK and Iceland, but behind France and Norway.

While legislation is currently being drafted that will see all new petrol and diesel cars banned from sale in 2030, some critics have argued that the Government’s plan to have 1m EVs on Irish roads by that point is “impossible”.

Up to November last year, just over 3,400 new battery EVs were registered in Ireland in 2019, while just under 600 used battery EVs were imported. By the end of 2020, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) estimates that the total number of EVs in Ireland could reach 8,000.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic