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Louth saw a fall in the number of new electric car registrations in February, compared to the same period last year, according  to figures released by The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) last week.

38 new electric cars were registered in Louth in February 2024, down from 44 in February 2023, representing a fall of 13.6%.

Over all, new car registrations in Louth were 9.2% higher in February 2024 than February 2023, with 333 new cars registered in Louth in February, up from 305 during the same period last year. It follows on from January, which saw an even greater monthly increase, of 23.7%, on January 2023.

There was a rise in both new petrol and diesel registrations in Louth in February, compared to a year earlier. New petrol car registrations rose by 10%, while diesel car registrations rose by an even higher 25.8%.

Petrol electric hybrid registrations rose by 35.3%, with 23 registered in February 2024 compared to 17 in February 2023. There was also a fall in the number of diesel electric hybrids registered, with five registered in Louth last month, compared to nine a year earlier.

Nationally, new car registrations for February were up 25% with 16,455 cars registered when compared to February 2023 when 13,122 new cars were registered. Registrations for the year to date are up 18.3%, with 47,882 cars registered, on the same period last year when 40,466 were registered. 

Light Commercial vehicles (LCVs) increased by 36.8% (3,515) compared to February last year (2,569). Year to date LCVs are up 35.6% (10,987). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 14.2% (305) in comparison to February 2023 (267). Year to date HGVs are up 10.3% (763).

Imported Used Cars have seen a 24% (4,945) rise in February 2024, when compared to February 2023 (3,989). Year to date imports are up 32.1% (10,270) on 2023 (7,775).

In February 1,866 new electric cars were registered, which was 15.5% lower than the 2,207 registrations in February 2023. So far this year 5,968 new electric cars have been registered which is a 1.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023 when 5,885 electric cars were registered.

In the new car market share by engine type for 2024, Petrol cars continue to lead the new car market at 32.97%. Diesel is next at 23.76%, then Hybrid (Petrol Electric) at 21.51%, Electric at 12.46%, and Plug-in Electric Hybrid at 7.76%.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commented: “New car registrations for February show a 25% increase on the same month last year, and year to date are now 18% ahead of 2023. Supply chain issues prevalent at the start of 2023 are no longer impacting on sales.

“Registrations of light commercial vehicles also show a positive start to the year, up over a third on last year. Electric vehicle (EVs) registrations are down on February last year and are only marginally ahead of the first two months of 2023. 

“This slowing down in EV sales is not unique to Ireland and is reflective of other new car markets. It is typical of the life cycle in the adaption of any new technology, where there is a gap between early adapters and the early majority consumers. This is happening at a time when we need to accelerate the growth in EV sales.

“The electrification of the car fleet is strategically important. It will cut transport emissions and shape the future of the Motor Industry. To speed up the move to EVs in the wider motoring public, the Industry and Government must keep working together.

“For the Industry, this means the rolling out of more EV models. For Government, it means extending incentives and investing in the national charging infrastructure.”

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