Looks like electric cars are unaffected largely so far by the coronavirus crisis, at least in Europe where the registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have doubled in the first few months of 2020.
A report from European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) has said that while the BEVs have grown, the overall passenger car registrations fell by 25.6 per cent when compared to the same period last year. EAFO, which collects data for all vehicle types including alternative fuels (electric, hydrogen, LPG, LNG, CNG, biofuels), has observed that BEV registrations have increased by more than 100 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 though the alternate fuel vehicles only account for 5.4 per cent of the total in 2019.
Due to the COVID-19 breakout and lockdown, Europe witnessed a drop of 55 per cent in car sales in March 2020 but the electric cars saw an all-time high in these months. The reason for the increased sales of EVs is being attributed to drop in prices, orders placed before the pandemic and the increased range of new models. Another reason could be the better incentives offered by countries like France, UK, Germany and Italy.
The improvement in the air quality level in the current lockdown too may have gotten the public to realize just how clean the air quality in cities could get if vehicular pollution is cut down. In just a couple of months of lockdown and just a fraction of vehicles on the road, the fresh air has made somewhat of a public campaign for EVs. Back home, Hero Electric had said that post the lockdown, India could be a significant contributor in global electric vehicle sales.