Easy Car Sales, like may other businesses, was negatively impacted during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown measures and expected the depressed economy to present a challenge for new electric car sales. But partner in the company, Pia Farmer, told Guardian Business yesterday that sales have boomed since the company reopened two weeks ago.
According to Farmer, the company has sold about ten cars in the ten days it has been open, following the relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown measures.
She explained that there was an expectation that new car sales would slump in the midst of the global economic downturn, but the opposite was true for the company’s BYD electric vehicles.
“The phone has been ringing off the hook,” said Farmer. “We have not stopped doing test drives.”
Farmer said Easy Car Sales had a “fabulous” first quarter, selling all of its consumer inventory.
She said as COVID-19 measures began, the company took delivery of an order of new SUVs and business stopped for three months.
However, now she contends COVID-19 might have changed people’s perception of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and their outlooks on the environment and fossil fuels.
“These two weeks have shown us that electric cars are here to stay,” said Farmer.
“I don’t have all the answers, but I think people have seen the effects of transportation on the air we breathe. They have appreciated during the COVID-19 shutdown how much this earth suffers from emissions.
“Transportation is the third worst offender of emissions in the world. About 19 percent of all of the harmful emissions come from transportation… ground transportation. I think it has come home to people.”
Farmer added that people have also recognized the convenience electric cars can provide during a time of crisis when gas stations become inconvenient and possible sites of viral community spread.
She said there has been a “natural wave around the world” moving people towards the purchase of an electric vehicle. And she added that statistics have shown that people who purchase an electric vehicle typically do not return to an ICE vehicle.
According to Farmer, Royal Bank of Canada approached Easy Car Sales to offer low interest rates on electric vehicles, especially given that her company’s BYD models have an eight-year warranty.
Farmer said Easy Car Sales is very optimistic about the future of electric car sales in The Bahamas, especially given the interest in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown. During the lockdown period the company took care of its staff, she said, not having to let anyone go.
Farmer said she would like to see the country keep better statistics on electric vehicle use, explaining that many companies have been taking their vehicle fleets electric.