EV sales up amid cars sales slump

September 11, 2020
EV sales up amid cars sales slump
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Global new car sales have slumped as the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a dramatic slow-down in economic activity. However, in the face of this decline electric vehicle sales have remained strong, especially in Europe.  


Global sales in the 2nd quarter, globally, this year were 14.4 million units. This compares with a 2016 quarterly peak of 22.7 million. It means the market is even more depressed than at the height of the 2008 recession.   

In the major European markets new combustion engine vehicle sales are down a massive 56% year on year, but in contrast sales of electric powered vehicles are up 46%. These figures in particular show how EVs are now crucial for car makers, both in terms of new sales growth and meeting stricter EU emission standards.

The Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), the German automotive industry body, predicts globally a slight recovery in sales in the 2nd half of the year, but the world market is still expected to be down 17% by the year end. The VDA says Europe is likely to be worst hit by the market contraction with 2020 year on year sales down 24%, while the USA is expected to be down 18% and China down 10%.

Latest figures for Irish new car sales paint a similar picture with year to date units for the end of August down 30.6% with 71,873 first time taxed cars this year to date, compared with 103,582 last year. However sales in August itself were slightly up on last year.

Electric vehicles are also performing strongly in terms of new car sales in Ireland, now accounting for 19.1% of first time taxed cars, compared with 12.1% last year. The year to date the powertrain split for new cars in Ireland is; petrol 26,909, diesel 31,207, hybrid 11,008 and EV 2,749. Volkswagen remains the most popular manufacturer just ahead of Toyota, followed by Hyundai, Skoda and Ford.

The Coronavirus restrictions have also had a big impact on used imports which are down year on year some 39% at 42,888, with two thirds of these diesel models.

 
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