Used Car Market Goes Green: Electric Vehicles Gaining Popularity Over Petrol and Diesel Models

Electric Vehicle Charging

The used car market is embracing electric vehicles more than ever before, according to recent data analysis* conducted by vehicle history and data expert Cartell.ie.

The study found that buyers are increasingly turning to electric vehicles (EVs), with EV transactions, hybrids (PEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) seeing a 1.7% increase. Both petrol and diesel models have correspondingly declined by the same percentage (1.7%), with petrol models showing a larger fall.

Growth Breakdown by Fuel Type

The overall trend by fuel type in the used market between 2021 and 2022 indicated a 1.1% rise in popularity for hybrid vehicles. Increases in the numbers of PHEVs and EVs were also noted, with a corresponding 1% decrease in demand for petrol and 0.7% diesel models[LS1] .


The study also looked at the performance of electric vehicles in the used market by analysing the average 0-100 Km/h times for electric vehicles compared to both petrol and diesel vehicles. The results showed that electric vehicles generally performed better than their diesel and petrol equivalents for most car types, with the exception of convertibles where there was little difference.


In its analysis, Cartell.ie also examined the fuel types of imported vehicles between 2018 and 2022. Despite increasing demand, the results indicate a significant decrease in the percentage of electric vehicles imported to Ireland during this period [LS2] (35.1% in 2018 decreased to 10.9% in 2022, while all other fuel types remained relatively stable. Interestingly, the largest percentage (60.7% in 2020)) of overall imports during this period were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs[LS3] ).

Overall, the study indicates a shift in the used car market towards electric and hybrid vehicles, with electric vehicle types showing strong performance values and offering a lot to the used car market.

Ross Conlon, CEO Cartell.ie says: “The number of petrol and diesel models in recent used car transactions remains high, however we are seeing an overall decline in the percentage of transactions involving these fuel types. In parallel, we have seen an increase in the volume of transactions for hybrid, electric, and plug-in hybrid fuel types. PHEVs have been consistently the most popular import throughout the entire period. The performance of electric vehicles has been impressive, and they are giving other aspirational types a run for their money. It is clear that EVs have a lot to offer the market.”

*For this study Cartell.ie considered all used car transactions in the used market, irrespective of transaction type (private-to-private, trade-to-private, private-to-trade etc), for each of the years beginning in 2018 and ending in 2022.

Table 1 Movement in Used Car Transactions by fuel type 2021 to 2022 (Source: Cartell Carstat)

FUELMarket Share Difference(2021-2022)% Market Share Difference
Pure electrics14610.3%
plugin hybrids13700.3%

Table 2 Average Performance of Electric Vehicles (0 to 100 Km/h) by Body Type in the used car market 2018 to 2023 compared to diesel and petrol aspirated engines (Source: Cartell Carstat)

BodytypePetrolDieselPure electrichybridplugin hybrid
 VAN           15.714.8912.510.326.89
 ADAPTED SALOON12.4113.11 
 MPV           12.2112.137.679.898.25
 HATCHBACK     11.5813.739.210.878.21
 JEEP    1     11.5111.159.78.895.6
 ESTATE  1      11.3711.939.28.898.74
 SUV           10.6411.437.68.977.47
 SALOON        10.4611.795.679.796.05
 ESTATE        11.4411.549.4511
 CONVERTIBLE   9.039.998.094.82
 COUPE         8.669.454.968.254.8

Table 3 Average Performance of Electric Vehicles (top speed in Km/h) by Body Type in the used car market 2018 to 2023 compared to diesel and petrol aspirated engines (Source: Cartell Carstat)

BodytypePetrolDieselPure electricshybrids(HEV)plugin hybrids(PHEV)
 COUPE     211.33223.04213.42205.67247.14
 ESTATE    181.08190.65161.73191.76195.35
 HATCHBACK 169.18188.58152.58175.53205.14
 JEEP      180.2179.5140181.7206.58
 MPV       179.88180.69174.9182.15195.85
 SALOON    190.34204.92217.09192.51235.13
 VAN       156.77153.76128.16189.75218.57

In Performance of Electric Vehicles (0 to 100 Km/h) and performance of Electric Vehicles (Top Speed in KM/h) by Body Type in the used car market 2018 to 2023 compared to diesel and petrol aspirated engines the claimed vehicle sprint times and top speed indicators are sourced by Jato Code for each vehicle in each category and then the results are averaged.

Table 4 Imports by fuel type 2018 to 2022 (Source: Cartell Carstat)