- China forecasted to be the largest market for electric buses
- Northern Chinese city introduces green bus fleet
- India to need up to 500 electric buses this year
Between 2016 and 2020, the global electric-bus market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.77%, TechNavio forecasts.
Researchers say the market for electric buses will be similar to that of cars, only innovation will be faster and the market will make a larger profit.
The market is expected to be the largest in China. IDTechEx forecasts the Chinese market will be valued at $132 billion in 2026 for buses less than eight tons. Pure electric buses rule the market followed by hybrid buses and those with fuel cells.
The Chinese city of Tianjin introduced its fleet of 500 electric buses earlier this year.
The buses have a range of 200 kilometers, a typical daily bus route. They were purchased through a partnership with Chinese automaker BYD and Tianjin Bus Group.
The fleet joins the city’s 1,346 other electric buses. In addition to the fleet, the city has 201 charging stations. The newest has the ability to recharge 448 buses daily.
The move comes as the Chinese government plans to move toward clean energy and break its reliance on coal. Tianjin has one of the country’s worst air qualities.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University have said 200 electric buses and minibuses are needed to cut air pollution. Purchasing these vehicles would cost $38.7 million.
Current electric buses, manufactured by BYD, are unreliable, the researchers said, and recommended lithium-titanate batteries and buses with European exteriors. The BYD buses have doors that can open suddenly.
According to the researchers, switching to more efficient electric buses would reduce suspended air particles 17%.
India Electric Bus Market Growing
Indian commercial-vehicle manufacturer Tata Motors says the market for electric buses in India will be between 400 and 500 units over the next year and will continue to grow thereafter. The increase comes as government officials realize electric buses help fight air pollution.
To meet this demand, Tata introduced two new electric buses and an electric-hybrid bus.
The company has an order backlog of 6,600, more than half from state transportation authorities. It recently received an order for 25 hybrid buses from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. The buses will be delivered next fiscal year.
Ravindra Pisharody, Tata executive director for commercial vehicle business, forecasts the market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 20%-25% over the next three years.
India’s Ministry of Heavy Industries offers a 75% refund for electric buses purchased on a per- project basis. Electric-bus manufacturers would like to see the refund extended to all orders.
- Electric buses began operating in 2009. The first buses were small, 8-10 meters, but now buses 12 meters long are in operation.
- Technology is expected to speed up the adaptation of electric buses.