Global Electric Bus Market Opportunity Analysis, 2017–2025
The growing impetus on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission regulations, drop in battery prices, and purchase subsidies on electric vehicles (EVs) are certain to accelerate the growth of electric buses across the globe. Rapid technology developments with respect to battery chemistry, powertrain architecture, and motors are propelling the market, which will witness collaborations among incumbent automakers, start-ups, and new players. Battery-electric buses are expected to have a larger market share, followed by fuel cell electric buses, by 2025. Reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) of electric buses compared to diesel buses, coupled with the push for developing the charging infrastructure, will make electric buses a profitable option by 2025.
The global electric bus market size was ~81,968 units in 2017. This number is expected to grow to ~148,080 units in 2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7%. China alone sold ~80,615 units in 2017. India and Latin America (LATAM) will be the fastest growing markets between 2017 and 2025 with a CAGR of 132% and 139.4% respectively.
Developed regions such as North America and Europe which already have access to electric bus technologies will make a sizable contribution to the conventional hybrid and plug-in hybrid bus markets. However, fully electric buses will be the most preferred technology in developing regions as they will be late in adopting eBuses and are expected to leapfrog to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Although the uptake of natural gas powered buses will increase in the near future in North America, Europe and, to some extent, in China, it will not have much impact on the growth of the electric bus market in the medium and long terms. FCEVs are expected to gain momentum post 2020 as performance and costs improve, and as H2 infrastructure starts building up.
Higher adoption of electric powertrains is evident in the transit bus segment where charging stations are easier to establish due to the fixed routes. However, with advanced batteries and high power charging technologies reducing charging time, coaches will also have a significant share of electric powertrains in the long term post 2020. Fuel cell coaches will also find traction post 2022.
Growth in the electric bus market is influenced by subsidies and incentives by national and local governments – a critical reason for China’s supremacy in this market. Other key factors are the establishment of quick charging infrastructure and the development of highly capable batteries. The increasing need for reducing emissions, especially in highly-populated cities, will necessitate the adoption of electric buses in the intra-city passenger transport segment. Growing battery capacities, coupled with aggressive developments in charging infrastructure technologies, are expected to increase the adoption rate of electric powertrains in the coaches segment.
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