Electric vehicles set to become the new normal for motorists

Alan Nolan, SIMI.

Alan Nolan, SIMI.

Research conducted by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI ) reveals that two in five adults living in Connacht would consider buying an electric vehicle (EV ). The research, which surveyed 1,000 people, found that the lower running costs of driving an EV was the primary reason for considering to purchase (41% ), second only to helping the environment (51% ).

Conversely, the research reveals that the cost of purchasing an EV, coupled with anxiety regarding the range of the vehicle and the availability of public charge points, are proving the greatest barriers to people considering an EV. Responding to these concerns, Jim Gannon, Chief Executive of SEAI said;

“We understand people’s concerns about driving electric, but the technology under the hood of the modern EV has come on leaps and bounds, making them a real alternative for many Irish motorists. Our electric vehicle grants make it more affordable to make the switch. EV drivers can receive up to €10,000 with SEAI grants and relief on VRT, the lowest rate of motor tax, reduced charges on tolls and benefit from a generous reduction in running costs, not to mention the health and environmental benefits.”

Registrations of EVs have accelerated over the first six months of 2018 – growing 85% versus the same period last year and surpassing the total sales of EVs for 2017 with six months to spare. There are now approximately 5,500 electric vehicles on Irish roads. To respond to the growing interest in EVs, the SEAI recently launched a Government-funded electric vehicle public awareness campaign. The first phase of the campaign allows drivers to compare almost 40 different electric vehicles available today, arrange for a test drive at their local dealer and find out more about driving electric, all at a single website www.DrivingElectric.ie

“It’s time for people to seriously consider making the switch to electric, as we work together to find simple ways to a more sustainable future. One of the best ways to get a sense of whether or not an electric car is for you is to get behind the wheel of one. A test drive will give you a real sense of the benefits and experience of driving an electric vehicle,” said Mr Gannon.

Commenting on the growing popularity of EVs among Irish motorists, Alan Nolan, Director General, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI ) said that electric vehicles are acknowledged to be the future for mobility but they are actually becoming the new normal for many Irish motorists today. Last year, around a thousand electric vehicles were purchased in Ireland and we have already reached the same number even before the start of the new 182 registration period. Year on year the number of electric vehicles on our roads has doubled and we predict that trend will accelerate in the coming years. Electric Vehicles make sense environmentally and economically and with their advanced technology they are also exciting and enjoyable cars to drive. Anybody considering a new car at present should seriously look at the suitability and benefits of an EV now rather than seeing it as an option for some future time.

“I would urge potential buyers to have a look around, visit your local SIMI dealer and take a test drive to be well informed about electric vehicles, even if this is only for the future rather than for now. For many buyers who have taken the trouble to do the research, the future is now,” he said.

For more information on EVs, the range of grants and incentives available, and to book a test drive in your local dealership visit, www.DrivingElectric.ie You can also follow the SEAI campaign on Twitter @SEAI_ie and #drivingelectric

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