As a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, April 2020 car sales have fallen by 97% compared to 2019. The decline to just 4,321 new vehicle registrations brings car sales figures down to those just after World War II. Moreover, with a large proportion of these sales made up of fleet pre-orders, the number of privately purchased vehicles was actually around 800. However, while these figures offer a stark reminder of the fragility of our economy, zero or low-emission cars may offer some hope. In contrast to their traditional counterparts, electric vehicle sales fell by 9.7% and now make up over 32% of the market share, the highest yet. Tesla’s Model 3 and Jaguar’s i-Pace were the two bestselling vehicles last month. It seems there are three reasons that electric vehicle manufacturers may be bucking the trend.
Firstly, these brands do not tend to market using traditional channels and sales no longer take place solely through dealerships. Tesla’s business model of high street stores and online sales lends itself much better to the lockdown environment. Moreover, the firm focus on virtual, interactive technology, which allows you to build your car, is accessible from almost anywhere. With dealerships forced to shut and the government only reinstating remote dealership sales from 22nd April, it may be no surprise that these alternative sales techniques are outperforming the rest of the market.
Secondly, during the lockdown, we have been made starkly aware of the impact we are having on our environment. With air pollution levels falling, water purity returning and nature taking back a foothold, many of us have been forced to consider the longer-term impact of the way we live our lives. A recent poll by the BBC showed that 71% of people believe the climate change crisis is as urgent as Coronavirus. Moreover, the April 2020 AA Populus survey showed that 20% of people intend to use their car less after the lockdown and only 1% intend to use it more. That said, some car journeys are essential and this ambition for greener living is likely to manifest itself in greater demand for electric vehicles.
Finally, this experience has made us all much more sensitive to those around us. With 2m distancing rules, facemasks and hand-washing now integral parts of our day, we have never before been so aware of each other. As a result, the demand for public transport will likely fall due to the inevitable close proximity to others. Moreover, in the Prime Minister’s latest lockdown update on the 10th May, he encouraged those travelling to work to avoid public transport where possible. For many, driving into work is not possible due to traffic or parking, and walking or cycling is not possible because it is too far. With access to priority lanes in many cities, reserved parking spaces for EV charging and reduced congestion or parking charges for low emissions vehicles, driving an electric vehicle may be the perfect solution.
If you are thinking of switching to an electric vehicle and would like to know more, please get in touch. Call us on 0141 280 8890 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of our technical team will happily talk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
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