Used electric car market remains small

Despite an exponential growth in popularity and interest, Irish EV sales remain comparatively small, with the used EV market smaller still.

Sales website has released data for the first quarter of 2022 showing its most frequently-viewed cars and, while electric models such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Volkswagen ID.4 and others feature among the site's most popular new cars, not a single electric vehicle has made the overall top ten.

Sticking with the same

The Ioniq 5 topped the list of most-commonly viewed new cars on Carzone, with the ID.4 in third place, the Kia EV6 in fifth and the Audi e-tron in sixth. When it came to the overall picture which also includes used cars, electric models were entirely absent with the Volkswagen Golf in first place (where it has remained since 2016) followed by the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class respectively.

What this serves to illustrate is that despite strong interest and recent impressive sales growth figures, the electric vehicle market in Ireland remains comparatively small with the used electric vehicle market smaller still.

"So far this year we have seen several new models introduced to the market, but our data shows that car buyers are sticking to what they know when it comes to researching a car purchase. The most-viewed cars on our platform have remained mostly unchanged from 2021," said Carzone's Audience Manager, Karl Connolly.

Carzone's most viewed petrol models so far this year have been the Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta while the most-searched-for hybrid models have been the BMW 5 Series, 3 Series and Toyota Corolla. Diesel, though not quite as popular as it once was, remains a strong choice for larger vehicles, the three most-searched-for diesels being the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6.

EV sales grow

Sales of new electric vehicles have risen by an astonishing 96.1 per cent compared to 2021 according to the latest figures from SIMI and, while that's a big jump, those growth figures are starting from a much lower base than with other types of cars. Although the Ioniq 5 is Ireland's best-selling electric car and the most-searched-for new car on Carzone's website, it still remains outside the overall bestselling top ten, with the Hyundai Tucson and a brace of hybrid Toyotas making up the top five. Petrol cars make up the majority (27 per cent) of sales, closely followed by diesel's 25 per cent. Hybrids make up 24 per cent of new car sales with battery-electric models still some way behind at 12.5 per cent.

Little choice yet in used EVs

The absence of electric cars from Carzone's overall top ten is also indicative of the relative paucity of electric vehicles on the used car market. Given that electric cars have up to now made up a comparably small portion of new car sales, buyers simply don't have a huge choice of models on the used car market yet and, looking at Carzone's figures, are still primarily opting for petrol and diesel fare, mostly from premium German manufacturers.

Though electric cars may, at present, only make up a tiny percentage of used car sales, as sales of new EVs grow, expect to see the availability of used electric vehicles on the market expanding too in the coming years.

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Published on April 25, 2022