Can electric cars beat the COVID crunch?
With societies months-long in confinements and factories shut, the COVID-19 pandemic has gravely impacted economies across Europe and beyond. 2020 was touted the year of the electric car in Europe and early 2020 showed record plug-in sales. But has the COVID-19 crisis killed off the electric car momentum that was finally gaining pace in response to EU emissions regulations? The EU 2020/21 car CO2 target of 95 gCO2 /km was agreed more than a decade ago, and reconfirmed again in 2014. But that didn’t stop EU carmakers leaving investments to comply until the last minute as they did little to prepare before 2019. Instead, as T&E calculated in 2018, they invested in China, where the aggressive electric car policy allowed the Chinese to secure seven times more investments than the EU (€21.7 billion vs €3.2 billion) over the period 2017-2018.