The global electric bus market accounted for volume sales of 14,963 units in 2014. It is expected to grow with a CAGR of 19.6% during the period 2015 – 2020. The parallel hybrid electric bus is expected to be the largest segment (43% share) of the global electric bus market in 2020. The Chinese electric bus market is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period, owing to the surging urbanization and development of many newly built advanced public transit systems in the smart cities of China. By 2020, China is expected to account for more than 50% of the global electric bus market.
In 2014, 8 out of top 10 electric bus players had more than 90% of their total revenue from Chinese market. The Indian government has also shown their interest in electric bus, as the country’s leading bus player, ‘ASHOK LEYLAND’ is expected to commercialize their electric bus model in the India by 2017. In Europe, the U.K., Germany, and France are the major markets for electric bus. The government of the U.K. has launched a double decker electric bus in London earlier this year. Côte d’Ivoire, Uruguay, and Brazil are expected to be the early adopters of electric bus in Rest of the World region.
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An electric bus in its entire life cycle saves the fuel of around $365,000 value, as compared to diesel buses; and $225,000, as compared to natural gas (CNG) buses. Moreover, electric buses are less noisy, and require less maintenance, compared to their conventional counterparts. The United States Department of Transportation has announced an investment of $24.9 million for the development of zero-emission buses across the country. Under its Twelfth Five Year Plan (2011–2015), China is investing heavily to increase the new energy vehicles (vehicles powered by renewable energy sources such as fuel-cell technology and battery). At the end of 2015, China is expected to accommodate around 500,000 hybrid electric and pure-electric vehicles.
The electric bus market is still at its nascent phase, and requires further technical development for the increased adoption of electric buses. Moreover, the premium price of electric buses is the major hindrance for their large scale adoption within the public transit infrastructure, especially in the developing countries, where the regional governments are focusing more on low emission natural gas powered buses.
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