Budget 2024 – Invest now SIMI calls for extension of EV incentives and investment in charging infrastructure

Budget 2024 –  Invest now SIMI calls for extension of EV incentives and investment in charging infrastructure

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released their official 232 new vehicle registrations statistics for August.

New car registrations for the month of August were down 0.3% (8,131) when compared to August 2022 (8,154). Registrations year to date are up 18.3% (112,729) on the same period last year (95,269).

Light Commercial vehicles (LCV) are up 5.7% (2,217) compared to August last year (2,097) and year to date are up 32% (25,207). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are also showing an increase of 24.4% (296) in comparison to August 2022 (238). Year to date HGVs are up 32% (2,222).

Imported Used Cars seen a 4% (4,578) decrease in August 2023, when compared to August 2022 (4,769). Year to date imports are up 2.8% (34,012) on 2022 (33,084).

For the month of August 1,776 new electric vehicles were registered compared to 1,484 in August 2022 (+19.7%). So far this year 20,218 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 12,659 (+59.7%) on the same period 2022.

In August, the car market share grew, with petrol retaining the largest share at 30.66%, Diesel accounting for 22.31%, Hybrid 18.83%, Electric 17.94%, and Plug-in Electric Hybrid 8.01%. Battery Electric Vehicles, Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids now see their combined market share (year to date) at 45%.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commenting: 

“This year’s new car market has two notable features; the return to pre-pandemic sales levels and the ever increasing share of electric vehicles. EVs registered for the first eight months of the year have broken the 20,000 barrier. This should only be viewed as a start. We have yet to return to new car sales levels that will reduce the age of the national fleet. We need to see an even greater levels of EV sales, both new and used, if we want to get close to the Government’s Climate Action ambitions. 

As a country we can’t control the international political and economic situation, however we can control our own local taxation and incentive regime. If we get this right, we can create a platform to give consumers and businesses more options to make better environmental choices. For this to happen, the Industry and its customers need stability and certainty. In this context, SIMI is calling on Government in the forthcoming Budget to extend current EV incentives and not to increase VRT. For consumers this means continuation of the SEAI grants and VRT relief on EVs, while for businesses an extension of the Benefit-in-Kind reliefs for three more years. In addition, there should be increased funding to support the national charging infrastructure. By doing this, we will see an increase in both the new car market and in EV sales, with the potential to create an active used EV market over the next couple of years. These measures would support Government in a number of ways; increase revenue from new car sales, protect employment and reduce emissions from the national fleet.”