The proportion of Malta’s automobile fleet that includes any form of electrical power is 1.7 per cent, with a total of 7,122 motor vehicles being plug-in hybrid or fully electric.
In a National Statistics Office (NSO) release published on Wednesday, the body said that the stock of licensed motor vehicles stood at 414,669 by the end of March 2022.
Of these, 245,391 motor vehicles, or 59.2 per cent of the total, had petrol-powered engines. Diesel-powered motor vehicles reached 155,761 or 37.6 per cent of the total.
On the other hand, although electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for a measly portion of the entire stock, these still registered impressive increases over previous quarters, possibly indicating that Government support, like a generous and recently-increased grant, is having an effect.
When compared to the previous quarter, increases of 22.5 per cent, 15.6 per cent and 12.5 per cent were registered in the plug-in hybrid (petrol-electric), mild hybrid (diesel-electric) and plug-in hybrid (diesel-electric) motor vehicles respectively.
Between January and March of 2022, the stock of licensed motor vehicles increased by 1,650 over the previous quarter. Out of the stock of 414,669 vehicles, 75.6 per cent were passenger cars, 13.8 per cent were commercial motor vehicles, 9.4 per cent were motorcycles/quadricycles/E-Kick Scooters and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), while buses and minibuses amounted to less than one per cent.
During the quarter under review, the stock of licensed motor vehicles increased at a net average rate of 18 motor vehicles per day – a far lower rate of increase than has been the norm in recent years.
Limited supply could be playing a role in this, with several car importers reporting waiting times of several months before an ordered vehicles makes it to Maltese shores, although the situation did improve by the beginning of this year.
New vs used
In another switch-around, new vehicles were more popular than used ones (61.1 per cent new vs 38.9 per cent used).
Used cars have long enjoyed the lion’s share of the market, although car importers had warned that this could change in the wake of Brexit, since the UK was a major source market for such vehicles.
The Central Bank of Malta’s economic update shows that business confidence edged down, but remains higher than average
No timeframe was given as to when new stock will be supplied to other outlets
Clyde Caruana calls on businesses to dip into bumper post-pandemic profits to increase wages and capacity