Fewer electric cars sold in 2020 due to coronavirus?

As a result of the confinements operated around the planet, sales of electric cars will drop in 2020, but will outnumber those of thermal vehicles in 2040, predicts a new report by BloombergNEF.

Giving its vision of the automotive market on a regular basis, BloombergNEF has readjusted its figures. Electric cars are expected to fall 18% to 1.7 million units worldwide this year. However, petrol and diesel cars will fold more, at -23%. In the first European quarter, we noted that the electric sector continued to rise (+ 58%), while the car market as a whole fell by 26%. Thus, the global share of electricity should approach 3% in 2020.

Despite this almost guaranteed trough for 2020, sales will start to rise again the following year, while the global market will take 5 years to return to “normal”. Longer term projections suggest that the share of electricity will increase rapidly. It will be 8% in 2025, nearly 20% in 2030 and 50% in 2040. By this time, electric power will become the world standard with more than 45 million units sold against 35 for petrol and diesel combined. On the road, this engine will equip one vehicle in 3, with 31% of the volume.

2020-2040 electric car sales projections

2020-2040 Global Car Sales Projections by BNEF

The importance of the charging network … and the climate

Interesting point: the plug-in hybrid engine will be very small. Its share will barely reach 10% in 2040. Hydrogen, which will be reserved for larger vehicles, will be visible only after 2035, at 4% market share.

BNEF also supports that the infrastructure must follow, “Around 290 million terminals in 2040, including 12 million public”. 500 billion dollars (450 million euros) would be necessary to develop it, including 22% of public funds. As a recent example, England will be pushing its network over the next few years.

Last point: 1 million barrels of oil are already saved every day thanks to the development of the electric vehicle. They will be 17.6 in 2040. This will be less CO2 released into the atmosphere, the concentration of which reached a new record at 416 ppm in April 2020, favoring global warming.


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