Cypriot motorists go green

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Cypriot motorists are turning to greener vehicles, as sales of electric and hybrids have doubled in the first three months of the year compared to 2022.

According to the latest data, sales of electric cars in the first quarter increased by 176%, reaching 213 from just 77 in January to March 2022.

Sales of Hybrid cars increased to 2,265 in January to March, from 1,399 in the same period in 2022, recording a 61% increase.

Overall, saloon passenger car registrations rose to 8,264, increasing by 29.5% in Q1 2023 from 6,382 in the first quarter of last year.

Of the 8,264 registrations, 4,879 were vehicles running on petrol, 906 on diesel, 213 were electric, and 2,265 were hybrid.

In the same of 2022, petrol saloon cars amounted to 4,195, and diesel-powered cars were 709, but only 77 electric cars and 1,399 hybrid vehicles were registered.

Toyota in the lead

Of the total saloon car sales, 4,009 or 48,5% were new and 4,255 or 51,5% were used cars.

Based on registrations, Toyota held the lead for new car sales in Q1 with 1,338 registrations.

It was followed by Mazda with 772 registrations, Nissan with 628 registrations and BMW with 532.

Mercedes rounded off the top five with 442 saloon vehicle registrations.

Compared to 2022, there were changes in the distribution of market share, as in Q1 2022, Mazda led with 972 sales, followed by Toyota with 787 registrations.

Nissan in Q1 2022 had sold to 576 vehicles, BMW 318 and Mercedes 283.

Despite a significant increase in sales of passenger saloon vehicles, new car importers report that traffic at showrooms has slowed since the beginning of the year, as consumers are feeling the brunt of inflation pressures and interest rate hikes.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, car importers noted that the increase in registrations is down to a spike in orders placed last year before inflation hit a record high (10.9%) in July and interest rates took off.

The interest rate on consumer credit increased to 4.21% after six consecutive interest hikes imposed by the European Central Bank since July 2022.