Electric vehicle sales to plummet

1st May 2020

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Phil Copsey

The coronavirus pandemic will result in a dramatic fall in electric vehicle (EV) sales worldwide this year, according to forecasts by energy company Wood Mackenzie.

Global EV sales closed at 2.2m last year, but are expected to drop by 43% to 1.3m by the end of 2020. Wood Mackenzie said that the COVID-19 outbreak, delays to fleet purchasing due to a lower oil price, and a “wait-and-see approach“ to buying new models have contributed to this projected decrease.

EV sales in China were down 54% at the end of January in comparison to the same time last year, and are thought to have fallen by more than 90% by the end of February.

Some EV manufacturers are offering discounts, and others will release new models over several years rather than the next 12 months. China is expected to catch up with 2019 EV demand by November 2020, while Europe will do so by December. US year-over-year demand is projected to lag 2019 demand by 30% by the end of 2020.

“The uncertainty and fear created by the outbreak has made consumers less inclined to adopt a new technology,“ said Ram Chandrasekaran, Wood Mackenzie principal analyst. “Once the epidemic is contained in China, we suspect consumers will flock back to car dealers and reaffirm their confidence in EVs.“


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