• Paul Welsford

Predictions for Electric Vehicles in a Post-Covid World

Here at EVDots, we are trying hard to not dwell too much about the current global pandemic. You can't move for all the articles, videos, blogs, memes, podcasts and websites dedicated to what will most likely be defining subject of 2020. We're not avoiding or dismissing the situation, but adding to the cacophony doesn't seem productive. Also, we want these posts to be positive, forward looking and give readers a reason to feel good about the future. So, not too tough a task for our first post!

EVs and clean air go sanitised-hand in sanitised-hand

At the same time Covid is the elephant in the room; talking about another subject feels awkward somehow. So my hope is that this will be the only post we have to do deals directly with Covid-19. I also hope that this adds to a more positive frame of mind for when we eventually get the better of the virus and can go back to living our lives. Because, let's be clear, we will.

Right now, great sections of humanity are stuck indoors. Whilst this happens, the outside world moves on, and some interesting things have been noticed. Viral posts about animals 'returning' to places have proven to not be true, and as we know fake news has far reaching affects (though some stories are adorably true). But one thing which is obvious is that there are less cars on the road. Apple has released data showing that in Singapore routing requests made through its own Apple Maps app has seen a 63% reduction since January 13th. A more in-depth study by the NUS Urban Analytics Lab shows in greater detail the scale of the reduction in traffic since the circuit breaker restrictions.

Amazing satellite images from NASA and ESA have shown that during lockdowns in China and Italy there have been huge reductions in pollution in the last 2 months. Now, much of this pollution is from major industries halting, but the affects of transport shouldn't be understated. Densely populated cities like Singapore have to contend with poor air quality due to tail-pipe emissions, and the reduction of cars on the road is proving that air quality can improve. Imagine if we could maintain these levels of clean air we are seeing as a side-affect of the virus?

This Havard paper concludes that just small increases in PM2.5 levels can be associated with significant increases in Covid-19 mortality rates in the USA. These findings pose interesting questions for the future. Many (source, and source) are already starting to ask these questions and bringing more people into the conversation.

Our belief is that these questions will lead people and business to the conclusion that the move to Electric Vehicles is a necessary first step on the path to cleaner air. In the short-term, local air quality can improve, especially in areas where traffic is high. Pollution from tail pipes, as well as noise pollution will lead to nicer cities to walk around rather than seeking the bubble of the inside of a vehicle with AC. In the long-term the base-line respiratory health of citizens will improve, the regional average emissions will be reduced (something which will only continue as grids add more renewable technology) and businesses will be able to take advantage of the low operating costs EVs provide.

Covid-19 is a terrible thing, and we cannot wait to see the back of it. The time now is to act to stop the spread of the virus. But at the same time, if we are able, let's think of how we can not waste any opportunity which may come from our new circumstances. These are dark times, let's look to those pockets of light in the future.

From everyone at EVDots we hope you and your families you are all staying safe and healthy. We look forward to working with you to build a clean air future with electric vehicles in the future.

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