Hybrids are now the most popular new cars on the Irish market, outselling either petrol or diesel models, according to initial registration figures for the first 10 days of the year.
Sales of regular hybrids account for 30 per cent of the new car market, with plug-in hybrids making up another 9.8 per cent. This compares to 27.9 per cent for petrol and just 20 per cent for diesel engine cars.
Sales of fully electric cars make up 11 per cent of the new cars registered so far in 2022.
It reflects a dramatic change in the Irish market, which was previously dominated by diesel. In 2017, for example, diesel accounted for 65 per cent of new car sales, petrol for 30 per cent and hybrids made up just 3.4 per cent.
Overall, the new car market this year is down 18.6 per cent with 7,892 registrations compared to 9,700 in the same 10-day period last year.
Some of this drop has been attributed to delays in the delivery of new cars due to the global chip shortages, impacting vehicle productions lines.
Car manufacturers have had to prioritise certain models for the allocation of scarce microchips, vital components in most modern cars.