The electric vehicle sector has been stuck for years with a chicken-and-egg problem. Until there were extensive networks of public charging stations, a critical mass of people would never feel comfortable driving EVs—but until a critical mass of people were driving EVs, there was no sense in investing in extensive networks of public charging stations.
It may be the coronavirus pandemic that finally breaks the stalemate. BloombergNEF’s latest Long-Term Electric Vehicle Outlook predicts that EVs sales will experience a smaller dip than traditional auto sales as a result of the broader economic squeeze, and that they’ll bounce back more quickly once the market recovers. EVs and the infrastructure needed to charge them have also been a part of many of the stimulus packages announced by European and Asian governments. Just in the past few weeks, Germany included chargers in its €2.5 billion proposed economic package, and the European Union announced that it’s aiming to have 1 million public chargers by 2025, from fewer than 200,000 today.