Anyone who gives a critical economic forecast right now goes out on a limb. Some people say it all will snap back to normal in a couple of months. Others say the economy is gone forever as we thought it would.
But the plain and simple truth is that we don’t have any past examples to compare our current situation against. This economic shock has been unprecedented since the Great Depression and the Second World War, and the underlying problem we face today is very different from those disasters in particular. The lack of historical precedents makes it impossible to foresee exactly how it will all play out.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t make a well-informed forecast for 2030 on electric vehicles. That’s because there are still many critical pieces of information that are likely to stay true regardless of what particular coronavirus scenario plays out.
The Bad News: High Unemployment and Dwindling Purchasing Power
The bad news is easy to spot: We think the demand for EVs will be dropping like a stone in the short term.
Unemployment claims are to be found through the roof. Businesses are locked. Whole sectors of the economy are almost inoperative. That means less money for consumers to buy electric vehicles, and less money for companies to upgrade their vehicle fleets to electric.
This does not necessarily say much about the 2030 electric vehicle forecast itself, but it does say that the first few years of the 2020s are likely to be bad for the automotive industry as a whole.
The Good News: Strong Market Fundamentals and High Demand for Charging Stations
The important thing to remember is this isn’t an issue with the EV market itself. The demand for traditional vehicles is also dropping like a rock. The fundamentals are still strong when you look at the EV market. Because of these fundamentals, our original electric vehicle forecast for 2030 was very bullish, and these strengths mean that the EV market is still a force to be taken into account.
This is also necessary to note that, from the point of view of deciding whether or not to add EV charging stations on your parking lots, the new EVs already on the road are not going anywhere, and the current charging network is still insufficient to accommodate them. The demand for new EV charging facilities is likely to return to high levels once the economies of the Member States start to reopen
On average, EV drivers are more wealthy and more educated and are therefore less likely to be financially wiped out by the pandemic. Businesses, employees, and apartments and condos welcoming EV drivers are likely to gain an incremental benefit over their rivals, who do not give easy EV charging.