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DISTRIBUTORS here have mixed expectations about meeting the major increase in demand for electric cars next year.

Some have more orders for cars than they can supply, while others are confident they will have plenty of stock.

All expect sizeable increases in demand for EVs – particularly from private buyers.

However, Nissan’s James McCarthy says: “Unfortunately, the loss of the grant for business buyers will have an impact on those sales, which accounted for about 25pc of all EVs in 2019. We have seen in other markets when the support is dropped sales tend to fall off the cliff.

“What will hopefully compensate for that loss will be strong growth in public sector purchases, so hopefully it will be a strong year overall.”

It will be fascinating to see what happens and if brands with more supply will benefit from disappointed customers from other makes who are struggling to meet demand.

A limited and brief snapshot of those with, or soon to have, EVs on the market yielded a mixed bag of supply-and-demand results.

Hyundai sees supply being “very tight again” in 2020. It expects to easily exceed this year’s Q1 registrations in Q1 2020 – with supply being the only caveat.

KIA says it has “more orders than we can supply”.

Mercedes here believes supply could be restricted, though it has no official confirmation as of yet.

But it feels at this stage that demand will be greater than the ability to supply.

The story is different for Mini which, despite Mini Electric demand exceeding initial estimates, is confident of being able to supply models.

Peugeot’s first full electric, the e208, is arriving in January and has sparked “huge interest” according to a spokesman.

It reckons it has “a great supply” on the way, but January will tell if it has the numbers right.

Renault, too, insists it has plenty of supply to meet the anticipated demand, with increased EV capacity at its Flins plant near Paris.

It is now ramping up production on the new 395km Zoe Z.E. 50 (right-hand-drive deliveries from March).

“Supply is expected to be unconstrained,” a spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, Tesla told Independent Motors: “We don’t provide commentary on our sales or the industry.”

Volkswagen has hundreds of orders for the midsummer arrival of its ID.3 first edition. It will have supply to meet that level of demand, and for late next year/early 2021 when less-expensive models come on stream.

Latest SIMI figures show 3,420 new electric vehicles have been registered so far this year (up from 1,224 last year). That will surge next year and account for 21pc of all new cars bought in 2021, according to some distributors.

Would you switch brands to get a new electric car? Email: ecunningham@independent.ie

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