The global Electric Bus Market size is expected to grow from approximately 81 thousand units in 2021 to reach 704 thousand units by 2027, at a CAGR of 43.1%.
Factors such as the rise in pollution and environmental hazards, stringent government regulations, and stiff competition have compelled automotive OEMs to make fuel-efficient and environment-friendly vehicles.
OEMs worldwide are investing heavily in research & testing applications leading to continuous advancements in electric buses. For instance, in September 2020, Proterra introduced its newest battery-electric transit vehicle, ZX5 electric bus. The Proterra’s fifth-generation battery-electric transit bus features a new streamlined vehicle design and maximizes the amount of energy that can be stored onboard the vehicle to increase power and range. Also, in September 2020, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new all-electric eCitaro G. It is optionally equipped with innovative solid-state batteries.
The global electric bus market is dominated by major players such as BYD (China), Yutong (China), Proterra (US), VDL Groep (Netherlands), and AB Volvo (Sweden).
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In the electric bus market, by the length of the bus, the 9–14 m segment is projected to be the largest market during the forecast period in terms of volume. The 9–14 m segment is dominating the electric bus segment due to the large volumes of electric passenger buses used in the public transport fleet. Most of the public transport fleets, especially in China, which accounts for more than 93% of the market have most electric buses that are 9–14 m in length. Also, many of the leading OEMs such as BYD, Proterra, and Yutong have been providing electric buses in the 9–14 m length range. Countries that are planning to replace existing public fleets with electric ones are considering electric buses of the same lengths as well.
The electric bus market leaders are focusing on expanding their businesses in new markets across the world. North America is one of the potential markets for electric buses and coaches. In October 2020, New Flyer of America Inc., a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. announced that Knoxville Area Transit (“KAT”) has awarded New Flyer a contract for twelve zero-emission, battery-electric thirty-five-foot heavy-duty transit buses, with options to purchase up to 13 additional zero-emission buses in thirty-five or forty-foot lengths throughout the remaining term of the five-year agreement OEMs are launching new variants of electric buses for the use of school buses. For instance, in March 2021, the Blue Bird has delivered its 400th electric school bus in North America. The company expects to have 1,000 electric school buses delivered by 2022. These buses are mainly used for electric bus purposes and plan to move toward zero-emissions school buses. Yutong has also become the first full-electric bus brand represented in Denmark and is also the first Chinese bus brand with a sizable volume in Denmark.
The up to 400 kWh segment is estimated to have the largest market in 2021 due to the large volumes of electric buses in Chinese intracity public transport. Most buses use up to 400 kWh batteries. A major advantage of the up to 400 kWh battery is fast charging at a low price and high energy efficiency. As a result, major players have deployed up to 400 kWh of battery capacity to stay in the competition. Also, up to 400 kWh batteries are cheaper and require less space, and thus, the segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.
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The up to 250 KW segment is dominating the electric bus market due to the large volumes of electric passenger buses used in the public transport fleet. Most public transport fleets, especially in China, have electric buses with a power output of up to 250 kW. Toyota’s fuel cell bus ‘Sora’ powertrain consists of two 114 kW fuel cell stacks developed for Toyota Mirai. Currently, many fuel cell buses in Europe use hybrid fuel cell technology. For instance, the Van Hool A330 bus ordered for Cologne and Wuppertal cities in Germany in July 2019 had a fuel cell stack of 85 kW supplied by Ballard Power Systems and a 24-kWh traction battery. With continuous developments in electric vehicle technologies, high-powered electric buses are expected to grow in the future as well.
The Asia Pacific region is the largest electric bus market in the world. It comprises some of the fastest developing and developed economies in the world. The growth in the region can be attributed to the dominance of the Chinese market and the presence of leading OEMs such as BYD and Yutong in the country, resulting in the exponential growth of the electric bus and coach market in the Asia Pacific. Also, Shenzhen was the first city in the world to have a fully electrified public transport fleet. The large volumes of electric bus production, favourable regulations for electric buses, and rapidly growing charging infrastructure are projected to boost the Asia Pacific electric bus market.
- In April 2021, VDL has announced a supply contract of 32 electric buses to public transport company Hermes in Eindhoven. These buses will be operational from January 2022 in the Eindhoven cityscape.
- In February 2021, The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Board of Education approved a contract with Highland Electric Transportation. Highland Electric Transportation to deploy 326 Thomas Built electric school buses powered by Proterra.
- In February 2021, Nova Bus, a subsidiary of Volvo Buses have announced a supply order from Chicago Transit Authority. The order is for 600 new 40-foot electric buses from Nova Bus.
- In January 2021, BYD won a supply contract by the Bogota City Public Transport Authority in Columbia to deliver 1,002 electric buses 2021. This is the largest pure-electric bus contract for BYD outside China. BYD has collaborated with local bus manufacturers namely Superpolo and BUSSCAR for the bus body parts.
- In September 2020, Yutong presented to global travellers its 5G-enabled Intelligent mobility solution in a live show in China. Autonomous driving buses, intelligent bus stops, and unmanned intelligent bus terminals were showcased.
- In September 2018, CAF Group acquired Solaris Bus and Coach to enter into the global electric bus market.
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