Diesel still the most popular new car type in Ireland, but electric growing in popularity

Diesel still the most popular new car type in Ireland, but electric growing in popularity

Diesel remains the most popular choice for a new car in Ireland despite a 9.85% decline in market share in 2021, but hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid engines are growing in popularity.

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has revealed that 104,932 new cars were registered in Ireland in 2021 compared to 88,325 for the same period in 2020 (+18.8%) and 117,109 in 2019 (-10.40%).

SIMI’s official new vehicle registrations statistics for 2021. also showed that 8,646 new electric cars registered in 2021 comparison to 4,013 on the same period 2020 (+115.4%) and 3,444 in 2019 (+151.0%).

Meanwhile, new Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations in 2021 saw an increase of 32.3% (28,741) compared to 2020 (21,732) and +13.4% 2019 (25,336). New Heavy Commercial Vehicle registrations (HGV) saw an increase of 31.5% (2,716) in comparison to 2020 (2,066) and +2.1% on 2019 (2,659).

Imported Used Cars saw 63,617 registrations, a decrease of 20.4% on 2020 (79,969) and a decrease of 44.2% on 2019 (113,926).

Other stats of note show a changing market place in 2021. Diesel accounted for 33.44%, Petrol 32.16%, Hybrid 16.22%, Electric 8.24%, and Plug-In Hybrid 7.26%. 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 account for (50.95%) in market share, while automatic transmissions (48.93%) continue to increase their popularity.

The hatchback remains Ireland’s top selling car body type of 2021. Grey is the top selling colour and has continued to keep that title for the past six years.

SIMI Director General Brian Cooke said: “The difficulties arising from both COVID and Brexit impacted on the supply and demand for cars, which made 2021 another challenging year for the Irish Motor Industry. While new car sales show a 19% increase on 2020, they remain behind 2019 levels.

“On a positive note, the sale of Electric Vehicles (EVs) more than doubled in 2021, and with the sale of EVs being underpinned by SEAI Grants, we can expect to see an increasing number of new EVs on Irish roads in 2022. Commercial Vehicles sales also saw a significant improvement in 2021, with light commercial vehicles up over 30% on 2020, reflecting the increase in business confidence as the year progressed.

“The industry is hopeful that 2022 will see further improvements in business levels. 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. 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.”