Greentech Lead America: Global market for electric drive
buses is expected to grow steadily over the next six years, with a compound
annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26 percent from 2012 to 2018, according to Pike
More than 75,000 electric drive buses will be on roads
worldwide by 2018, the agency said.
However, other category of heavy duty vehicles has seen
more adoption of electric drivetrains than buses. In North America, hybrid
models have captured as much as 40 percent of new transit bus purchases in
Electric drivetrains appeal the bus market for the same
reasons they do for light duty vehicles: savings on fossil fuel, efficiency
gains, limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and, in many cases, lower operating
“The biggest challenge for electric drive
technologies has been the cost premium over conventional diesel buses or buses
that run on compressed natural gas,” said senior research analyst Lisa Jerram.
“This premium has maintained for hybrids, even as they have seen significant
adoption in the North American market.”
According to Jerram, fuel economy savings are critical to
making the case for bus operators to pay more, especially in developed
countries that are facing increasing austerity in their public budgets.
Typically, hybrid buses need to show fuel economy improvements of around 40
percent, at current U.S. diesel prices, to pay off the price premium over the
life of the bus.
The growth in the e-bus market will accelerate strongly
in certain regions, including Eastern Europe and Latin America. However, the
largest sales volumes will come in Asia Pacific, according to the study.
The research estimates that more than 15,000 electric buses will be sold
in Asia Pacific in 2018 –75 percent of the world total while North American
sales are expected to reach just fewer than 2,500 in the same year.