2 June 2023

Citroen claim gold at Bloom Festival

Bord Bia Bloom Festival judges yesterday awarded the Citroen Power of One Climate Positive Show Garden designed by Nicola Haines, a gold medal and best in category medium garden award fending off stiff competition, writes Trish Whelan

The garden features many subtle hints to Citroen’s history of innovation, encourages the ‘Power of One’ - how one garden and better choice of car has the power to tackle the effects of pollution and positively contribute to the environment. 

Collection of rainwater, planting close to the street to absorb pollution, using a vast number of reclaimed materials and a sedum roof to provide food for pollinators and better air quality, contributed to the garden’s awards. 

Trevor Hunt, Head of Marketing at Citroen Ireland thanked Nicola for her hard work and dedication to make the garden come to life. He said that he hopes this is ‘a message of how the power of one person can change how we manage our pollution’.


Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid here in July

The fifth-generation Toyota Prius will be available exclusively as a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) when it arrives here next month, writes Trish Whelan

Launched in 1997, this hybrid electric car has been one of the most iconic vehicles in the brand’s history with over five million units sold to date. With a more modern and appealing design, Toyota say this new PHEV ‘is a world away from the original Prius’. 

New Prius is capable of doing 71km in zero emission mode after a single charge. For most drivers, the Prius PHEV runs like an EV on their daily journeys, before reverting to an efficient hybrid model when the battery power is depleted. 

Irish customers can choose from a wide range of Hybrid Electrics (HEVs) which spend, on average, more than 50pc of the time in zero emissions mode, PHEVs (RAV4 and new Prius) and the new BEV, the bZ4X. 

The new Prius is on display at the Bloom festival in The Phoenix Park until Bank Holiday Monday 5 June. 

Price starts at €45,900 for the 2.0 PHEV. Price excludes delivery and related fees.


New car sales edge closer to pre-Covid levels

New car registrations for May were up 42.7pc (7,557) compared to May 2022 (5,295) while registrations year-to-date are up 18.2pc (74,542) on the same period last year (63,057), writes Trish Whelan

Figures released by SIMI for May show some 1,725 new electric vehicles were registered compared to 743 in May last year and that nearly one-in four new cars sold were electric, outperforming diesel sales for the month. 

SIMI statistics also show that so far this year 12,875 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to +55.9pc (8,258) on the same period 2022. Electrified vehicles, including all-electrics, Plug-in hybrids and hybrids now have a combined market share (year to date) of 42.75pc. 

Imported Used Cars saw a 14.9pc (4,486) increase in May 2023 compared to May 2022 when 3,905 second hand cars were imported here. Year-to-date, imports are up 5.2pc (20,797) on 2022 (19,766). 

Petrol remains dominant at 32.36pc, with diesel accounting for 22.17pc, hybrid 17.51pc, electric 17.27pc and Plug-in electric hybrid 7.96pc. 

Light Commercial vehicles are up 76.2pc (2,528) compared to May last year (1,435) and year to date are up 31.1pc (16,255) while Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) sales are also showing an increase of 11.9pc (217) over May 2022 (194). Year to date HGVs are up 35.6pc (1,424). 

The five top selling car brands in 2023 are 1. Toyota, 2. Volkswagen, 3. Hyundai, 4. Skoda, 5. Kia while the top car models are: 1. Hyundai Tucson (pictured above), 2. Kia Sportage, 3. Toyota Corolla, 4. Toyota Yaris Cross, 5. VW ID4. Top selling EV models are: 1. VW ID.4 (pictured below), 2. Hyundai Ioniq 5, 3. Tesla Model Y, 4. Skoda Enyaq, 5. Kia EV6.


29 May 2023

Renault Ireland boss is new President of SIMI

Paddy Magee, Country Operations Director of Renault Group Ireland, was elected President of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) at the organisation’s AGM, writes Brian Byrne

Mr Magee, who has worked for 25 years in the Irish motor industry, 20 of these with Renault, said his focus will be on continuing the work already undertaken in helping to position the Motor Industry as a leader and enabler of the green transition.

"The Motor Industry remains fully committed to working with Government to help achieve their Climate Action Targets," he said. "The industry is playing its part in the electrification process, and we need to build on the momentum already in the marketplace, with the right economic and taxation environment to support the uptake of new zero and low emissions vehicles.”

He called for no VRT/VAT increases in the upcoming Budget and wants the BIK’s recent reliefs extended for the foreseeable future. "Company vehicles will play a key role in helping to escalate the transition of electrification of the fleet, by increasing the number of new vehicles, we can also help supply and secure the used EVs market in the future.” 

26 May 2023

VW outstrips Tesla by distance in European EV sales


Volkswagen Group more than doubled their registrations of electric cars against its nearest rival, Tesla, across Europe in April, writes Brian Byrne.

The German company registered  almost 31,900 units compared to 14,200 represented by Tesla.

The percentage share of the battery electric vehicle market across 28 European countries rose to a record 13ps in April, according to automotive market monitor JATO Dynamics.

Overall new car registrations in Europe rose 16pc compared to April of last year.

Meanwhile, the top selling models in Europe in April were the Dacia Sandero, the Volkswagen T-Roc and the Opel Corsa. 

25 May 2023

EV owners demand drop in ESB charging prices

A demand that ESB eCars immediately reduce the cost of charging electric cars has been made by the Irish Electric Vehicle Association, writes Brian Byrne.

In a letter to John Byrne, head of ESB eCars, the IEVA says the charges are among the highest in Europe, and should be immediately reduced to pre-Ukraine war levels.

IEVA CEO Eamon Stack noted that a substantial part of Ireland's electricity is generated by wind, the base cost of which did not increase when Russia invaded Ukraine.

He also said the increases adopted quickly by ESB eCars when the wholesale gas market surged, have not been matched by speedy decreases when gas prices dropped.

Saying that the high charging prices will slow down the adoption of EVs, the IEVA has also written to Environment Minister Eamon Ryan, asking him to rectify the situation, as the state is a major stakeholder at ESB Group.

New BMW 5 Series here in October

The eighth generation of BMW's 5 Series saloon has been revealed and will get to its first Irish customers in October at a starting price of €69,850, writes Brian Byrne.

The new car is longer, taller and wider than the outgoing version, and there's also a longer wheelbase which provides for extra room inside. A new Touring estate version will come in 2024.

In addition to 208hp and 601hp petrol engine options, the new 5-Series will have an all-electric version, the i5 with 340hp and a rated range from 477km-582km. Plug-in hybrid versions are slated to arrive in early 2024.

There will be three trim options for the Irish market. 

24 May 2023

New tyre from Continental 'ideal for mild Irish climate'

A new all-season tyre from Continental will be available here from July, writes Brian Byrne.

The Continental AllSeasonContact 2 represents an ideal tyre for Irish conditions, which can range through sun, drizzle, heavy rain and back to sun ... all in one summer's day.

And in winter, as Ireland's climate is less severe than in many of our neighbours on the continent, the AllSeasonContact 2 is still amply capable for safe and anxiety-free motoring for all kinds of cars, but especially those in constant use for ferrying families about their various interests and destinations. Mud and snow are well dealt with by what Continental describe as their 'most technologically advanced yet'.

New materials in the tyre’s construction and innovations in the tread pattern and compound have resulted in a six per cent reduction in rolling resistance compared to the tyre’s predecessor and have increased mileage by 15 per cent, without compromising on safety.

According to Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland, "they really are the ideal choice for our mild Irish climate.” 

New style and power for Corsa

Opel has shown first photos of its latest Corsa styling, for a car that will arrive in Ireland towards the end of this year, writes Brian Byrne.

The substantially revised front brings the car's styling right into line with more recent models changes and there are also significant changes to the interior trim and design.

The car will be offered with two fully electric powertrains of 136hp and 156hp with rated ranges of 357km-402km respectively. There will also be a full hybrid version.

More details on price and specification closer to launch here.