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Pandemic Effect Electric Vehicles Industry
Samiksha Patil
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Published on 9th Jul 21

Pandemic Effect Electric Vehicles Industry

As the covid-19 pandemic outburst globally in 2020 and many countries completely shut, economic development was at pause, and some countries did experience the downfall of the economy. There were various industries affected drastically, a few boosted and the rest deducted. The EV industry did suffer from the pandemic. The estimations say that the drop in global EV sales was huge in 2020 than in 2007-2009 during the global financial crises.

The adoption rate of EV was increasing tremendously before covid-19. Canada, India, Netherlands, and France approved new policies to boost the adoption of EV. However, the process slowed due to the outbreak of covid-19. Many mainstream companies like Nissan, Kia Motors, BMW, and Tesla shift their focus from EV manufacturing to manufacture personal protective equipment.

Effect on India

The pandemic had a heavy impact on the Indian economy as the EV industry has been a victim of high-cost low demand for years now. Ascertain policies, upcoming technologies, and rising awareness of clean energy affected growth in the market demand for EVs lately, but pandemic leads to huge losses and a decline in growth.

The reports of the Society of Electric Vehicle Manufacturers (SMEV) show a decline of 20%. The year 2021 counts 236,802 units, whereas 2020 counts 295,683 units. Electric 2-wheelers are said to be the largest segment in the Indian EV market, witnessed a decline of 6% with a count of 143,837 units in 2021 whereas 152,000 units in 2020.

The 3-Wheeler sector was the worst hit, witnessing a 37% decline counting 88,378 units in 2021, whereas 140,683 units in 2020. These data don't include Electric 3-wheelers not registered under the transport authority, SMEV clarified. Whereas the passenger vehicles elevated with 54%, counting 4,588 units in 2021, whereas 3,000 units in 2020.

The hit witnessed by EV batteries was massive in 2021 due to a clampdown by the government on shipments coming from China, as China holds a monopoly over lithium-ion cells, on which India is dependent.

Benefits from covid-19

looking at a bigger picture, the covid-19 scenario and the lockdown have somewhat benefited the EV industry. The lockdown has showcased the adverse effect of traditional vehicles and the carbon emission. As various highly polluted cities notice reduced air pollution, which can help in promoting EV vehicles. The dependency on other countries for lithium-ion might reduce, as the government plans to gain lithium-ion mines in Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. 

During the lockdown, electric bike-rental services like Bounce have expanded into other Indian cities, apart from the metro cities. The bounce-back of fuel post covid motivating the adoption of EV.

Ray of hope

India is grappling with the consequences of COVID-19, which brings a ray of hope to the Indian economy and EV industry. As the EV industry looked forward to growing post covid with rising clean-energy awareness and the EV industry is said to play a crucial role with Make in India strengthening the Indian economy. E-commerce portals Flipkart and Amazon are likely to boost the sales of EV in the upcoming years. The covid-19 bought various short-term challenges towards the EV industry, overcoming these challenges EV sectors has aliened long-term opportunities.

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