Electric Cars Fight Off Coronavirus Attack In Europe As Regular Auto Sales Tank

Battery-electric car sales in Europe are holding up well, even as regular internal combustion engine (ICE) demand crashes around them, but forecasters are scaling back much stronger pre-coronavirus predictions.

Projections may yet take a hit if the year’s most important battery electric vehicle (BEV) launch – Volkswagen’s designed-from-the-ground-up to be electric ID.3 – is delayed beyond its promised summer debut date. Delays in software development had threatened that launch, but VW said it still expects an August start to sales.

Volkswagen ID.3 electric car (Image: Volkswagen.com)

Volkswagen ID.3 electric car (Image: Volkswagen.com)

And there is a variation on the old adage at work here – it’s an ill-wind that blows nobody any good.

Manufacturers like Audi and Porsche had whipped up a formidable demand for their new electric cars, but shortages of batteries would have led to failures to deliver on time. The fact that the edge has been taken off new BEV demand has spared manufacturers the embarrassment of disappointing these well-heeled customers.

2020 was supposed to be the year when European BEV demand finally accelerated into an unstoppable high gear. These sales are crucial because of European Union (EU) regulations, forcing manufacturers to ratchet up the number of electric cars, with massive fines for those failing to do this. But despite the horrendous market conditions in Europe, where sales of regular ICE vehicles in April might be barely perceptible and most forecasts now reckon overall sales for the year may be down about 20%, BEVs are holding up well.

Read more: Forbes

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