In the first 4 months of 2020, plug-in vehicles accounted for 5.5% of all auto sales in Ireland. The wild world of coronavirus, though, made something special out of April — or perhaps Ireland’s time has simply come. A stunning 18% of auto sales in the month of April were plug-in vehicle sales.
That’s not to say Ireland had an amazing month of plug-in vehicle (EV) sales. Sales were actually down 85% compared to April 2019. As we’ve seen in practically every other market, though, overall auto sales were down more — 96% in this country’s case.
The question some people have brought up is whether this is due to delays in EV deliveries from time of order or other matters. There have long been supply issues with some EVs — consumers wanting more than automakers are producing each month. If a decent portion of EV deliveries are from orders placed months ago, pre-covid, it might be that the higher market share is short lived and we could even see a boomerang effect.
However, EV market share across much of Europe had risen sharply at the beginning of the year, pre-covid awareness, and was expected to be strong in 2020. Also, in times of disruption, technology trends often hasten. Furthermore, a higher portion of EV sales could also be due to EV buyers being more committed, consumers spending more time online researching their options, or word of mouth spreading.
Here’s a closer look at the model results in April and January–April, courtesy EV Volumes (and just keep in mind that only 4.9 million people live in Ireland, fewer than the Miami metropolitan area):