How will COVID-19 impact the year of the EV?

Written by

Simon Blaaser

Posted on

April 28, 2020

2020 was set to be the year of the electric vehicle, with over 75 models scheduled for release by the end of 2020.

Has Covid-19 put a stop to that, or is there still hope for this year to be an EV success story?

The automotive industry didn’t get off to a great start in 2020, with UK new car sales down 44% year-on-year in March 2020. Registrations on new petrol and diesel were down 49% and 61% respectively, alternative fuelled vehicles (EV’s and PHEV’s) had been the industries saving grace, with a 61% increase in registration year-on-year in March 2020, capturing 22% of the market share.

Most manufacturers had focused on their electrification strategy in the last few years, working on concepts and teasing the industry with exciting new vehicles. However, since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, concerns were raised as to how this would affect what was set to be a great year of growth for EV.

Supply chain issues

One such concern is the supply chain. Like any manufacturing industries, the automotive industry relies heavily on it partners to manufacture certain parts and supply a range of raw materials. Both supporting businesses and the mining industry have been heavily affected by Covid-19, with a large percentage of battery manufacturing taking place in China. The Chinese workforces are now returning to work, although the knock-on effect may delay some cars over the coming months.

EV will still be a large focus for the automotive industry moving forward as the strict emissions rules put in place by the European union this year still apply, despite the pandemic.

Despite these stumbling blocks Electric Vehicles set to benefit post pandemic. We have seen environmental gains since the outbreak began, and consumers will be keen to let that continue. This could be a strong driving force for EV this year, with consumers adopting a greener attitude.

One great selling point with EV’s at present is the ability to fuel your vehicle at home, not only is this almost two thirds cheaper than traditional vehicle fuels, it also means you minimise your contact with other members of the public at high risk sites such petrol stations.

Helping our key workers

The EV Charging industry has also reacted to the global pandemic by supporting our key workers with free EV Charging sessions, see details below:

  • Polar – Free EV charging and subscriptions to the emergency services during the Covid-19 outbreak. At the same time, it is offering taxi drivers free credit for those carrying NHS workers.
  • Source London – free access to EV charging on its network to those working for the NHS and Metropolitan Police.
  • Alfa Power – Free charging for all NHS workers
  • Franklin Energy – Free EV charging for Keyworkers
  • Geniepoint (SMCC’s preferred back office partner) – Free EV Charging to keyworkers across several sectors (see website for details).

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