Cost of hybrids still a concern for Irish motorists
New research by Liberty Insurance shows that three in five motorists are still discouraged by the perceived high cost of plug-in hybrids, despite sales increasing 79% in 2017. Just 8% of Irish motorists intend on buying a plug-in hybrid in 2018.
Conducted by Red C Research among 474 drivers, the survey results found that only 11 percent of Irish drivers have ever driven a plug-in hybrid. The survey also found that only one in five motorists were aware of the new €600 Government grant for home charging kits for plug-in hybrid cars. Less than three in ten (29%) believe the grant is sufficient to make them consider purchasing a plug-in hybrid.
Of those intending to buy a plug-in hybrid in 2018, the biggest motivating factor for doing so was reduced fuel costs (73%), followed by environmental considerations (58%), less noise (26%) and a smoother rise (6%). However, the research also suggests that 59% of motorists are still concerned about driving range and 57% are wary of the lack of charge points.
Commenting on the research, Deirdre Ashe, Director of Customer & Markets, Liberty Insurance, said: “The public perception of plug-in hybrids is changing and the Irish Government, ESB and motor industry should be commended for this progress.
“In late 2017, the Irish Government set a new target that by 2030 all new cars and vans sold will be ‘zero-emissions capable’; car manufacturers are now committing to including plug-in hybrids as part of their future growth plans, evident in the growing selection of plug-ins now available in the Irish market.
“Unsurprisingly, the cost of plug-in hybrid cars and concerns about the driving were among the most cited factors for the slow uptake in the technology. Interestingly less than half of Irish drivers are aware of their closest charging point, despite the ESB investing €40million to date in developing a network of more than 1,200 ESB charging points around the country. This suggests there is an opportunity to increase public awareness about the performance of plug-in hybrid vehicles; the charge point network; the potential savings involved; and the societal benefits that plug-in hybrids can bring,” she said.
Liberty Insurance plug-in hybrid’ research carried out by RED C Research & Marketing among 474 car insurance owners aged 17+ in the Republic of Ireland.