EV Future May be Impacted by Coronavirus

Source: grist.org

The increasing population of electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid vehicles has impacted the entire auto industry, including the braking sector. The following is an excerpt of a post by grist.org on the impact Covid-19 might be having on this trend.

One of the starkest ways the coronavirus pandemic has upended daily life is its impact on transit: Simply put, we’ve stopped moving around. Flights and cruises are being canceled en masse, subways are losing riders, and highways have become eerily empty as commuter traffic peters out.

Far from just impacting transportation today, the pandemic and ensuing economic fallout could have big implications for the transit systems of tomorrow. Early signs suggest that the electric vehicle market, like the rest of the auto market, is taking a serious hit from COVID-19. For now, it appears to be a short-term stall out. But with the economy headed for recession and the price of oil reaching historic lows, bigger challenges could lie ahead for the EV industry unless governments take proactive measures to ensure a clean transit future.

“Without this effect we’d probably be heading for a record year in global EV sales,” said Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport at BloombergNEF, a clean energy research firm. In January, McKerracher predicted the world would surpass 10 million EVs on the road in 2020.

“That’s all called off now, I’d say,” he said.

Indeed, if early data from China, the world’s largest EV market, is any indicator, clean cars are in for a rough ride. In January, passenger EV sales were down 52 percent compared with 2019 as China scrambled to shut down its manufacturing sector and quarantine tens of millions of citizens. In February, the fallout was even worse: passenger EV sales fell 77 percent while production fell more than 80 percent, compared with 2019, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

It was an exaggerated version of what was happening to the auto industry at large. For January and February, sales of all vehicles were down 44 percent across China, according to a BloombergNEF research memo shared with Grist.

Electric vehicles “remain particularly exposed due to a nascent supply chain and being largely a premium consumer purchase,” analysts at consulting firm Woods Mackenzie wrote last Tuesday in a memo shared with Grist. “The outsized decline in EV sales compared to ICE [internal combustion engine] in China … highlight[s] this impact.”

The entire post can be read by clicking HERE.

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