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Hybrids twice as popular as electric cars

18 February 2020

Do Irish drivers dream of electric cars? According to our IrelandLikes survey of the nation’s popular dream plans, plenty of you are gearing up to leave petrol and diesel motors behind.

Over 4,000 people shared their next big ‘like’ with permanent tsb as part of IrelandLikes of the most popular choices across the country). And, while ‘home improvements’ and ‘travel’ are the two leading categories, 15% of people would most like a new set of wheels.

Ireland has been slow in adopting electric vehicles (EV) compared to the rest of Europe, but IrelandLikes highlights a growing desire to move away from old tech.

Indeed, 1 in 5 drivers cite alternative power sources are their top priority for new cars.

This suggests future sales will build on what was already the biggest year to date for electric-powered vehicles. There was a 68% year-on-year increase in the number of electric and hybrid cars sold across 2019. In contrast, sales of new cars have fallen overall for three consecutive years. Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show a 6.5% decline in 2019 alone.

Electric vs hybrid

Another key IrelandLikes stat does, however, reveal a preference for easing ourselves into the electric revolution: hybrids are twice as popular as fully-electric vehicles.

This overwhelming IrelandLikes preference for hybrids chimes with recent news that petrol-electric hybrid is the Irish market’s biggest growth sector in 2020 (taking a 14.6% slice), with sales skyrocketing 91% in the always-pivotal first 10-days of the new year.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are proving most popular in ConnachtSligo and Galway are the two counties most likely to opt for a pure EV upgrade to their current car.

Donegal drivers are the most likely in the country to opt for a hybrid, according to IrelandLikes. Leinster is another stronghold for hybrid cars, with noteworthy above-average demand in Waterford, Carlow, Wexford and Louth.

Conversely, Meath is the county least likely to break with tradition when it comes to their next motor.

If you’re unsure of the difference, BEVs run exclusively on a chargeable battery. Hybrids get at least some of their power from conventional gasoline engines.

There are “mild” hybrids, which merely have electric boosters and only moderate fuel reduction. Petrol-diesel-electric hybrids combine a petrol engine with a battery pack and electric motor. They “self-charge” by using the energy from braking to replenish the battery but can’t be charged from the outside. Plug-in hybrids (or PHEVs), as the name suggests, can be. So, along with onboard self-charging, you can top up your PHEV’s battery from a charging point or socket.

Power to you

So, if you’re considering joining that 1 in 5 and switching to electric, what option would best suit your needs?

A BEV is the cleanest option, naturally, if you’re primarily upgrading to be more environmentally-friendly. BEVs also have the benefit of zero fuel costs, instant torque and smoother, quieter drives (due to having few moving parts). There are a number of BEVs now offering a range of 300-350km (closer to 200-250km in the winter), which should easily handle commutes and even longer trips around the country without requiring a pit stop to recharge. When necessary, there are currently almost 1,000 standard charging points across Ireland.

Of course, many people will still have “recharge anxiety”, which is eradicated with a hybrid. If driving is a big part of your job, for instance, a hybrid may be for you. A PHEV’s two forms of power means it will charge faster than a BEV. There’s also less of an initial outlay cost. Luckily, there are government incentives to help you go green…

Pocket change

The Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland (SEAI) offer grants of up to €5,000 for both BEVs and PHEVs purchased and registered in Ireland. There are also grants available for home chargers.

Not only that, you’ll qualify for relief on Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). You can save up to €2,500 for a PHEV and €5,000 for a BEV, applied directly by your dealer (note: grants and relief can often be factored into advertised prices). This relief is available for PHEVs until the end of 2020, and for BEVs until the end of 2021. You can find a list of eligible vehicles here.

Whatever you see your future self-driving, permanent tsb is here to make it as smooth (and cost-effective!) a journey as possible. Click here to find out more about turning your car ‘like’ into a loan.

Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. permanent tsb p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The content of this blog does not constitute advice and is for general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice before relying on anything stated in the blog. Some of the links above bring you to external websites. Your use of an external website is subject to the terms of that site.


Government of Ireland

Irish Examiner

Irish Times

Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland

Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland

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