It's not helping, but it definitely won't stop the EVolution.

Plug In America wants everyone to know that the coronavirus, as bad as it is, isn't going to stop the transition to electric cars. In fact, they are asking people to stop saying that it will, in their latest press release

From the press release:

Despite what naysayers are trying to say, the electric vehicle (EV) market is not going anywhere. A recent study showed that EV sales may drop 43% in 2020—hinting that the EV market is in trouble. Will we see a decline in EV sales in 2020? Sure, because COVID-19 is forcing consumers to stay inside and not go shopping for any car, period. Not just electric ones. But this temporary pause in vehicle purchasing doesn’t mean that EVs are out and the gas car is back in style.

A quick internet search will reveal articles saying that this crisis is bad news for electric vehicle supporters like this one from Grist or this one from Bloomberg. Then, of course, we have the always-reliable OilPrice dot com site with this beauty: Coronavirus Could Derail The Electric Car Revolution.

We even posted a video by well-known YouTuber Ben Sullins here in InsideEVs today that asked the question "Will Tesla Survive The Recession?" Sullins says he thinks Tesla will come out of this just fine, but the fact that we're even asking that question is worrisome. But not to Plug In America. 

In fact, Plug In America sees the impending auto market slowdown as an opportunity to get more EVs on the road, not less:

With declining demand for cars expected over the coming months, automakers are expected to be reducing shifts and maybe idling whole factories in response. For some, this could also be an opportunity to terminate struggling gasoline models and move more rapidly in taking their long-planned EV models into production. 

We agree that there's an opportunity to use the current crisis as a springboard to get more electric vehicles in the hands of the public. However, we need to do a better job of explaining the long term financial benefits of driving electric. During market slow-downs and recession, buyers are more cost-conscious than ever, and the higher MSRP of electric vehicles scare many people away.

However, when you calculate the total cost of ownership, including incentives, lower refueling expenses, and savings in long-term maintenance costs, the EV often costs much less than a comparable ICE car.

The problem is few people know how to calculate the total cost of ownership, and most car dealers cannot either. We need to do a better job of informing the public about the economic advantages of driving electric. This is why Plug In America developed its EV dealership training program, PlugStar.

We've attached Plug In America's full press release below. We suggest taking a few minutes to read it and let us know in the comment section below if you agree with what they're saying. 

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The Electric Car Will Not Be Killed, So Please Stop Saying That


Despite what naysayers are trying to say, the electric vehicle (EV) market is not going anywhere. A recent study showed that EV sales may drop 43% in 2020—hinting that the EV market is in trouble. Will we see a decline in EV sales in 2020? Sure, because COVID-19 is forcing consumers to stay inside and not go shopping for any car, period. Not just electric ones. But this temporary pause in vehicle purchasing doesn’t mean that EVs are out and the gas car is back in style. Here’s why.


Policymakers and consumers are catching on to the benefits of switching to electric transportation. Cities and states have committed to electrify their own fleets as a pathway to meet carbon reduction plans that cite transportation as the largest source of carbon emissions.

Today’s current low oil prices also shouldn’t impact the future of EVs. Even if the price of gas remains low in the near-term, EVs are still a better bang for the buck in the long term with the savings on maintenance and better fuel economy compared to a gas vehicle.

COVID-19 is highlighting how reducing air pollution needs to be a priority for cities and states too. The New York Times recently reported a study that showed the linkage between air pollution and increased risk for health problems such as lung and heart conditions. Good thing that EVs have no tailpipe and, therefore, produce zero tailpipe emissions, the major cause of air pollution. Policymakers may be more inclined now to introduce even stronger policies that promote the growth of transportation electrification.

Furthermore, automakers remain committed to electrification. Despite some EV models being delayed due to COVID-19, major automakers have spent billions of dollars in research on EV technology that has been underway for years. Some automakers have literally bet their whole future on these vast investments. These long-term investments won’t just disappear. And, we weren’t expecting many new makes and models of EVs to be available for purchase in 2020 anyway. For example, Ford doesn’t have any makes or models of EVs coming out until 2021 and those are expected to be big hits with consumers: the all-electric F-150 and the Mustang Mach-E. Additionally, major automakers will also likely be again required to make and sell EVs in states that have adopted the zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate, representing nearly one half of the U.S. car market, once the legal battles play out over the EPA/NHTSA clean car standards rule.

What will impact the market is the release of Tesla’s Model Y. Currently, more than 75% of EV sales are from Tesla. The long-awaited Model Y, Tesla’s first foray into the popular small SUV market segment, began deliveries in March and will be ramping up later this year once Tesla is allowed to reopen its Fremont factory, which should have a big impact on the market. In fact, Tesla still saw a strong first quarter, despite production freezes in China and then North America, posting 88,400 global vehicle deliveries. This represents a 40 percent increase over the first quarter of 2019 for the leading EV automaker.

With declining demand for cars expected over the coming months, automakers are expected to be reducing shifts and maybe idling whole factories in response. For some, this could also be an opportunity to terminate struggling gasoline models and move more rapidly in taking their long-planned EV models into production.

 There you have it. Is the EV market in trouble right now? Our answer to that: the entire car market is in trouble as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with all of the factors discussed above, we believe that EV sales will hold up, noting that the entire auto industry may decline in the near term. We will get through this pandemic, and so too will EVs.

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About Plug In America
Plug In America is the nation’s leading independent consumer voice for accelerating the embrace of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States. Formed as a non-profit in 2008, Plug In America provides practical, objective information collected from our coalition of plug-in vehicle drivers, through public outreach and education, policy work and a range of technical advisory services. Our expertise represents the world’s deepest pool of experience of driving and living with plug-in vehicles. We drive electric. You can too. PlugInAmerica.org