How coronavirus has helped electric vehicles gain momentum

As Covid-19crunches car sales globally, a backlog of orders have helped electric vehicles maintain momentum in much of the world —better than gas-powered cars and trucks.

Many brands have pushed electric vehicles more aggressively in recent months. (File photo for representational purpose)
Many brands have pushed electric vehicles more aggressively in recent months. (File photo for representational purpose)

Even in March, as pandemic lockdowns swept the globe, sales of battery-powered vehicles—including plug-in hybrids—surged in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The demand, however, is somewhat synthetic. European emissions targets will rise considerably this year and automakers who don’t meet them will face steep fines for the first time. Passenger cars in Europe are required to reduce carbon emissions byroughly one quartercompared with levels of two years ago—between 4% and 6% of cars sold in Europe this year will have to be battery-powered in order to hit the new CO2 targets.

Consequently, many brands have pushed electric vehicles more aggressively in recent months and held back some 2019 orders so that they would count towards2020 mandates, according to BNEF analyst Colin McKerracher. Drivers in Europe’s three largest car markets —Germany, France and the UK —bought 46,052 electric vehicles as the pandemic deepened in March, almost double the amount in the year-earlier period.

Also check these Bikes

Find more Bikes
Odysse Electric Odysse Electric Hawk (HT Auto photo)
₹ 73,999 - 98,500**Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Battre Electric Mobility Battre Electric Loev (HT Auto photo)
₹59,900**Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Add to compare
Battre Electric Mobility Battre Electric One (HT Auto photo)
₹74,000**Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Battre Electric Mobility Battre Electric Iot (HT Auto photo)
₹79,999**Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Odysse Electric Evoqis (HT Auto photo)
₹ 1.50 - 1.57 Lakhs* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers

Also Read : Study claims switching to EVs won't alone help India's environment

As Bloomberg News reported on April 15, Volkswagen AG’s efforts to revive production outside China will start next week at its electric car factory in Zwickau, Germany. In a LinkedIn post the same day, VW CEO Herbert Diess stressed the importance of the ID.3 electric hatchback that will be made in Zwickau. “My new working week starts together with Thomas Ulbrich at the wheel of a Volkswagen ID.3—our most important project to meet the European CO2-targets in 2020 and 2021,'' Diess wrote.

The coronavirus has underscored the environmental damage of vehicle emissions. Covid-19 fatality rates have been linked to air quality. Sheltering restrictions and lockdowns have emptiedonce-busy streets and idled industrial factories, resulting in cleaner air in some of the world’s densest, dirtiest cities. In New York and other cities in the Northeastern U.S., NASA says air pollution has dropped by 30% in recent weeks.So politicians crafting aid packages to prop up their economieswill likely focus on supporting green technology.

McKerracher saysEV adoption rates could ultimatelyhold steady this year or even rise. “Longer term, I think the pressure to electrify road transport only rises from here," McKerracher said. “People will be angry that action wasn’t taken sooner."

Also Read : How to charge your electric car at home

The short-term picture, though, remains grim for the auto industry at large. Analysts are predicting a large decline in overall vehicle sales this year. In the U.S. alone, automakers should brace for the virus to gobble up $100 million to $300 million in 2020 revenue, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kevin Tynan. By comparison, the industry garnered $161 billion in salesin the second quarter of 2019.

In addition to rattled consumers, greener vehicles are coming up against some of the cheapest gas prices in years. As of mid-April, the average gallon of gas was selling for $1.83 in the U.S., 25% lower than prices just two months ago.

First Published Date: 17 Apr 2020, 08:25 AM IST
Shopping Bag Shop Now
74% OFF
Microfiber Car Cleaning Soft Brush Ideal as Mop Duster, Washing Brush with Long Handle, Dust Cleaner Car Wash Brush with Handle, Soft Brush Scratch Free, Cleaning Dashboard Curved Design - Grey
Rs. 389 Rs. 1,499
1% OFF
GOODAIR Clear Car Windshield Enhancer | Classic |12 Tablets
Rs. 295 Rs. 299
51% OFF
AGARO Galaxy Cordless Tyre Inflator, Portable Air Compressor, Flash Light, Power Bank, Multipurpose Use, Rechargeable, Up to 150 PSI Air Pump for Car, Bike, Foot Balls, Inflatables, Black & Red
Rs. 2,199 Rs. 4,499
55% OFF
Antson Portable High Power 2 in 1 Car Vacuum Cleaner | USB Rechargeable Wireless Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner Traveling, Camping Reusable and Sustainable, Portable,Rechargeable Vacuum (2 in 1)
Rs. 899 Rs. 1,999

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
Powered by: Acko Logo
Please be noted that any information provided herein above will be received by Acko General Insurance Limited (“Acko”). By mentioning the above information, you agree to provide these details and information to Acko.
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.