As low-polluting transportation systems gain popularity worldwide, the global electric bus market is segmented into technology, charging technology, product type and geography. Governments and City Authorities from various countries are now emphasizing on no or low-pollution transportation systems to address rising pollution, which in turn drives the electric bus industry. Based on drive system, electric buses are categorized as pure electric, hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid.
Most of the electric buses running worldwide are hybrid electric due to their low cost as compared to its other electric counterparts. However, developed countries are focusing on increasing the number of pure electric buses in their fleets. Pure electric buses require battery for their operation, while hybrid electric buses use conventional fuel, along with an electric propulsion system. Hybrid electric buses accumulate energy, when the bus decelerates.
The power stored in batteries of hybrid electric buses is used for forceful tasks such as accelerating from standstill. Once the vehicle is in motion, the combustion engine later runs the vehicle’s movement. The kinetic energy of the moving vehicle is used for recharging battery in hybrid vehicles. The hybrid buses hold the majority share in the electric bus industry; however, the demand of pure electric buses is increasing rapidly, especially in the western countries owing to growing government concerns for emission-free transportation.
One of the primary drivers for the electric bus industry is the growing need to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Charging a battery costs much less than buying diesel to run a vehicle. Electric buses are not only more reliable than convention vehicles but also offer a smooth and comfortable ride. These buses have zero emissions and are more environmentally friendly compared to conventional buses. The ability of these buses to reduce emissions and dependency on fossil fuels will lead to its increased adoption during the forecasted period.
On the basis of technology, the electric bus market is segmented into series parallel hybrid bus, series hybrid bus, parallel hybrid bus, pure electric bus and so on. On the basis of charging technology, the electric bus market is segmented into autonomous and non-autonomous.
The “autonomous” segment forms the largest segment of the electric bus market and is expected to grow during the forecast period. This category will grow rapidly during the predicted period and will be the most preferred type of charging technology among consumers and manufacturers for the next few years.
The development of high mass batteries is also a critical factor that will bolster growth in the electric bus industry as it can store more power and will help to increase the distance covered by a bus. On the basis of product type, the electric bus market is segmented into hybrid electric, purely electric and plug-in electric buses. On the basis of geography, the electric bus market is segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Middle East & Africa.
The Asia Pacific region dominated the electric bus industry in 2015 with a market share and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
The key players of electric bus industry are Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co. Ltd., AB Volvo, Shenzhen Wuzhoulong Motors Co. Ltd., FAW Group Corporation, King Long United Automotive Industry Co. Ltd., Daimler AG, Alexander Dennis Limited, EBUSCO, Ashok Leyland Ltd., Solaris Bus & Coach S.A., BYD Company Limited, Zonda Electric Bus, and Proterra Inc.
- Photo caption: Volvo’s first right hand drive 7900e fully electric single deck bus, which started its demonstration journey in Manchester in September last year, is continuing its trip around the UK.