A recent study was conducted by iReach on Irish Motorists. The nationally representative survey of Irish car buyers saw that new car buyers (41%) are intending to purchase a low CO2 emitting self-charging hybrid, over any other type of passenger vehicle for their next car within the next 12 to 18 months. This comes as diesel continues to decline with just under 15% preference of prospective buyers opting for the fuel choice.
These results have emphasised the important immediate role that hybrid power has in improving our environmental outlook as the mass market becomes more eco-conscious. These findings reveal the shift from diesel in just three short years, due to the VRT rate that allows hybrid drivers to enjoy lower tax implications associated with low CO2 emitting vehicles. The research supports Toyota’s ongoing vision that hybrid vehicles continue to remain the natural choice for drivers that wish to move away from diesel and create positive change for the environment.
Diesel in decline, again
Diesel took a further tumble coming in fourth after EV and petrol at just 14.8% preference with prospective buyers, which is reflective in diesel sales which dropped to 38% this year, in comparison with 48% this time last year. This compounded decline is indicative of the multiple studies that have shown that diesel negatively affects human health as diesel emits comparatively higher harmful NOx and CO2 than hybrids. In 2018, Toyota made the decision to stop producing diesel passenger cars and has helped move customers to self-charging hybrids that have up to 90% less NOX emissions in order to positively contribute to a lower-emissions society. Toyota hybrid vehicles provide a mass market solution for these concerns with the commitment for cleaner air quality for all, with no behaviour change required.
Overall industry growth
The survey also indicated there may be some good news on the horizon for Ireland’s car motor industry at large with 19% saying they will likely purchase a new car in the next 18 months, representing a 21.8% year on year gain compared to the 15.6% stated intention in March 2020. This potential boost is likely driven by the massive growth in household savings last year driven by the Covid-related €9bn decline in spending.
Toyota on top
Looking at specific car brands, the survey spelled good news for Toyota which ranked as the number one preferred car brand overall, and the clear leader in the hybrid category with 49% of all respondents choosing Toyota. When asked were they to buy a new car tomorrow, 17% of new car prospective buyers said they’d choose a Toyota, while the second-ranking brand choice garnered a significantly lower 7.6%. This is further reinforced by Toyota’s best-selling car brand accolade for 2021, with four of Toyota’s vehicles (Corolla, RAV4, C-HR and Yaris) all ranking in the top 10 bestselling car list. Toyota also ranked number one for price, resale value, lowest fuel consumption, build quality, brand reputation, and lowest environmental impact. Regarded as the most trusted brand in Ireland according to the 2021 Ireland RepTrak survey, Toyota claimed the top of the leader board as the most trusted car brand within the market.
Steve Tormey, CEO of Toyota Ireland, said, “The iReach study clearly indicates a fundamental mindset shift away from harmful NOx and CO2 emitting diesels, towards more environmentally sensitive electrified cars like hybrids and EVs.
“In the case of self-charging hybrid, we are proud to lead the charge towards a more sustainable future, and while EVs will be part of the overall ambition to zero emissions when the infrastructure, cost and renewable energy are aligned to mass market needs, hybrids offer many of the environmental answers right now. Toyota took the decision in 2018 to stop producing diesel passenger cars and, alongside the reduction in NOX, in the last two years, the hybrids we have sold will have saved over 100,000 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere in their lifetime. Imagine the significantly greater gains we could make if we could get diesel ownership down lower than 10% and migrate those drivers into low emission vehicles. With hybrid the choice is there, the low-cost spectrum is there and we can make a major difference today without waiting for the charging infrastructure to get up to speed. We believe that everyone has a right to clean air, and any move the Government can make to aid this, through VRT or by removing the VAT reclaim benefit for diesels, would be welcomed by those who want a cleaner environment for all.
“As the brand is absolutely dedicated to being ‘Built for a Better World’ we are heartened to see the survey results recognising of our contribution to improving Ireland’s environmental and health outlook.”