How is the Coronavirus Crisis Impacting the Electric Vehicle Market?

In 2020, we were expecting many exciting vehicle unveilings from the world’s leading carmakers. At the start of the year, we were particularly excited about the new all-electric pickups and other highly anticipated electric vehicles. But, just how is the ongoing coronavirus crisis impacting the EV market right now? 

How cheap gas is influencing electric vehicle sales

Stay-at-home orders led to fewer people on the road as well as extremely cheap gas prices. Currently, AAA is reporting that the average price for regular gas right now is $1.78; this time last year the average price was $2.89. 

Some experts fear that the economic slump and lower gas prices could have a serious impact on the future of EVs. Many customers may be more attracted to traditional gas-driven cars because of the numerous car sales incentives available in addition to the cheap gas prices. 

In March, some carmakers saw their sales drop as low as 80 percent which is a drop we have never seen before. The first quarter was bad and the second quarter might be worse. To help regain sales opportunities, many carmakers have updated their online-shopping experiences to attract more customers. 

The thing about EVs though is that going electric is more about being eco-friendly and less about saving money. Customers may prioritize going with cost-effective gas-driven vehicles. Carmakers are actually providing more incentives to buy their traditional gas-powered cars and leaving the prices of their EVs virtually the same.

When can we expect EV sales to pick back up?

We can expect EV sales to pick back up later this year when the overall market economy stabilizes. It’s clear though that EV sales in 2020 will not exceed those in 2019. Some analysts are even expecting there to be an actual boost in EV purchases. Electric vehicles offer dynamic driving experiences in addition to the eco-friendliness factor so they should appeal to a wide variety of drivers.  

Car experts expect the interest in EVs to rise, once we get through the coronavirus pandemic of course. In fact, Goldman Sachs expects that we will see EV sales increase to 15% by 2030 with Tesla being the leading electric car company. 

Tesla continues to go against the odds

Even amid coronavirus woes and production plant closures, Tesla has still found some success. The car company saw a 40 percent sales increase in the first quarter and was actually able to turn a small profit. Tesla stocks even rose by 17 percent and only recently decreased because of CEO Elon Musk’s recent upset

Even more recently, Tesla was a leading auto seller in the United Kingdom for April thanks to its Model 3 sedan. Tesla sold 658 Model 3 vehicles in the region with most of them going to private buyers.  This car company has had a strong online sales presence since before the pandemic. The next runner up in sales was the Jaguar I-Pace, which is Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle. 

While this an encouraging sign for the EV sector, some analysts say that numbers such as these will taper off. But like we said, we will just have to wait and see.