New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of new electric cars licensed increased by 52% from 7,825 in the first five months of 2022 to 11,918 in the first five months of this year.
The CSO noted that in the first five months of 2023, 18% of all new cars licensed for the first time were electric compared with 13% in the same time in 2022.
Overall, the number of new cars licensed in May increased by 47% to 10,452 from 7,120 the same month last year.
Meanwhile, the number of used cars licensed in May rose by 7% from 4,023 to 4,323 and the number of used cars licensed in the first five months of 2023 increased by 5% compared with the same time in 2022 rising to 20,345 from 19,310.
The CSO said a total of 23,944 new cars licensed in the months from January to May were petrol cars compared with 16,227 in the same five month period in 2022, an increase of 48%.
But new diesel cars licensed decreased by 5% in the same five month period.
Today's figures also shows that Volkswagen was the most popular make of new private car licensed in May, followed by Toyota, Skoda, Kia and Dacia.
Together, these five makes represent 48% of all new private cars licensed last month, the CSO said.