There’s no doubt that the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has had devastating effects on almost every industry. Throughout North America, businesses and schools have been shuttered, millions of jobs have been lost, and people stay at home in an effort to stop the spread. Though we look forward to when our communities can return to work, school, and public spaces, there will be permanent changes on how we work and live.

Driving to cleaner air

We’ve already witnessed the way that stay home orders are supporting the environment. With no need for a daily commute, air pollution has dropped to staggeringly low levels. Los Angeles currently has some of the cleanest air in the world — an impressive feat for a city once characterized by its smog. Consumers are taking notice — and they want to contribute to eco-friendly practices after the pandemic. While many people have temporarily paused spending, they’re already thinking about big changes that will maintain these lower emissions in the future.

According to a report by Venson, an automotive solutions company based in the UK, drivers may be more inclined to purchase electric vehicles than they were before COVID-19. A recent survey revealed that the staggering improvements regarding worldwide air pollution caused 45% of participants to reconsider their stance on EV ownership. Roughly 19% of those individuals answered that their next personal or company vehicle would be electric, while the other 26% reported they intended to become an EV driver within the next five years. Around 17% of respondents said that seeing the effects of pandemic shutdowns on the environment served to reaffirm decisions they had already made to go electric.

Looking ahead

While the Venson survey only included UK drivers, it is hopeful for the North American market. Reductions in smog and transportation emissions have been visible with the naked eye, a clear look at a world without gasoline vehicles. According to the Nature Climate Change journal, pandemic shutdowns have caused a global decrease in daily carbon emissions by 17%. By the end of the year, emissions could decline overall by 4.4-8%. That decrease is, of course, thanks to job losses and decrease in travel. But with the help of businesses and local governments, these temporary reductions in emissions could spur on electrification, transition of EV fleets, and greater development in zero emissions vehicle technology. As the world returns to work and travel, we can continue the descent.

For now, we look at the increases in EV sales and the demand for electric car charging stations. In 2018 alone, electric vehicle sales increased by 81% over the previous year. As more people work from home, smart EV charging stations are even more necessary at multifamily communities. And as businesses reopen, charging stations will support the clients and employees who want to reduce their personal emissions. This summer, make sustainability part of your plan for attracting new customers. For more information on installing electric car charging stations at your commercial property, contact your SemaConnect sales manager today.