One in three new cars licensed in Ireland this year were electric or hybrid

In March 2021, the most popular new private car model was the Hyundai Tucson
One in three new cars licensed in Ireland this year were electric or hybrid

The number of new hybrid and new electric cars licensed between January and March grew by 3,552 (52.3%) and 819 (54.8%) respectively. File picture: Larry Cummins

The number of new vehicles licensed in Ireland increased by 4.2% in March compared to the same month last year, with another surge in the number of new electric and hybrid vehicles.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows these two categories of vehicles combined accounted for 32.2% of new private cars licensed so far this year. The number of new hybrid and new electric cars licensed between January and March grew by 3,552 (52.3%) and 819 (54.8%) respectively compared to the same period last year.

There were 39,292 new private cars licensed in the first quarter of 2021. This is a drop of 11% compared with Q1 2020.

"Despite the drop of 11% in the overall number of new cars licensed in the first three months of 2021, the number of new hybrid and electric cars licensed in that period accounted for 32.2% of all new cars licensed," Noreen Dorgan, assistant principal at the CSO said.

The number of new electric cars licensed from January to March was 2,314. New plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) cars licensed more than doubled to 2,292.

The CSO said the number of used (imported) private cars licensed rose by 5.1% compared with the same period in 2020. The total number of private cars, both new and used, licensed in the first quarter was 60,687, a decrease of 5.9% compared with the same period last year.

So far this year, Toyota was the most popular make of new private cars licensed with 5,593, followed by Hyundai (4,125), Volkswagen (4,055), Ford (3,495) and Skoda (3,294). 

Together, these five represent more than half (52.3%) of all new private cars licensed in the first quarter. In March, the most popular new private car model was the Hyundai Tucson. 

Diesel vehicles accounted for 36.3% of all new private cars licensed in the first quarter of 2021, compared with 43.6% in 2020.

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