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Study: Future EV Success Unaffected by 2020 Sales Decline

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2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier
2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier
Photo: Chevrolet

A recent study by BloombergNEF suggests that the COVID-19 crisis will negatively impact electric vehicle sales by approximately 18 percent in 2020. That’s 5 percent less than the decline for cars with combustion engines, meaning EVs will feel the impact much more than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

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“The Covid-19 pandemic is set to cause a major downturn in global auto sales in 2020,” explains Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport for (BNEF). “It is raising difficult questions about automakers’ priorities and their ability to fund the transition. The long-term trajectory has not changed, but the market will be bumpy for the next three years.”

Despite this year’s global sales decline, EVs will prove their resiliency and popularity in the automotive industry.

According to the Long-Term Electric Vehicle Outlook, electric cars should make up 58 percent of new car sales by 2040. The research also revealed that by 2040, 67 percent of municipal buses will be powered by green energy. Forty-seven percent of two-wheelers will have an electrified powertrain and 24 percent of light commercial vehicles will be EVs.

The projected increase for EVs will affect the markets of electricity and oil. According to the report, two-wheel EVs have decreased the number of oil barrels by 1 million every day. Approximately 17.6 million barrels of oil per day won’t be needed by 2040 if the report’s EV-demand projections come true. This also means the global demand for electricity will increase by 5.2 percent by 2040.

“The Bloomberg report presents a more optimistic outlook than research firm Wood MacKenzie, which recently predicted that global electric-car sales could drop 43 percent in 2020, as a result of the pandemic,” says Green Car Reports writer Stephen Edelstein.

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Despite the hardships of 2020, it seems that EVs will power a major portion of the world’s driving future.