Plug-In Hybrid Car Research

Published on 12 April 2018

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...


Cost of Hybrids Still a Concern for Irish Motorists


Conducted by Red C Research among 474 drivers*, the survey results found that only 11% 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.


Public Perception of Plug-in Hybrids is Changing


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 €40 million 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."

*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.


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