I like Ireland. Since my most recent trip there several years ago, the Irish government has established a campaign to make at least 10% of the cars on the road electric vehicles by 2020, that’s a goal of about 230,000 electric cars. Their goal for the end of 2012 is to have 6,000 electric cars on the road.
To encourage use of electric cars, the Irish government has committed to installing 1,500 public charging points and making 2,000 home charging points available. So far, more than 700 charging points have been installed around the country, including public charging stations and installations in homes and businesses.
So how are they doing? In 2010, 48 electric cars were registered, in 2011, just 23 new electric cars were registered, but that number has exploded to 121 new electric cars registered this year so far, making a grand total of 192 electric cars on the road according to the Irish Examiner. This means that government installed charging stations greatly outnumber the government promoted electric cars. Hybrid cars are doing better with 559 registered this year. So far this year over 71,000 new gasoline or diesel powered cars have been registered.
These poor sales figures for electric cars are occurring even though the Irish government is offering grants of up to €5,000 ($6,459) for purchase of private electric cars and €3,800 ($4,909) for purchase of commercial electric vehicles, according to The Journal.
Perhaps these underwhelming results show that Irish consumers are smarter than the government.
And that’s the luck of the Irish.