Europe Electric Bus Charging Station Market Overview
The European electric bus charging station market is forecasted to grow at a significant rate in the coming years, owing to commercial roll-out of electric buses by the national governments of different countries in the region; incentives including tax reductions or exemptions, subsidies, and grants offered by the governments on the purchase of the electric buses; and technological innovations.
Based on the product, the European electric bus charging station market has been categorized into plug-in charging, pantograph charging, and inductive charging. Plug-in charging is the simplest option as it requires the least additional equipment, but needs long charging time. However, the market for pantograph charging technology is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the inclination of major electric bus manufacturers and respective charging technology providers such as ABB Ltd. and Volvo AB toward pantograph charging technology. Whereas, the induction charging is expensive and difficult to operate.
The U.K. leads the European electric bus charging station market, owing to the ambitious plans of local governments to shift toward electrification of their existing bus fleet. In 2017, the U.K. had the largest electric bus fleet in Europe, with less than one percent share of electric buses in the overall municipal bus fleet. Joint ventures between local bus manufacturers and foreign companies are getting popular, aimed to promote the local production and installation of charging stations across the country, thereby driving the growth of the market in the country.
Europe Electric Bus Charging Station Market Dynamics
The growth of the European electric bus charging station market is primarily driven by the strict government regulations, growing adoption of electric buses, and incentives on the purchase of electric buses. Conventional diesel-based buses contribute a significant share to high carbon emission levels in the region. With national governments in the region having prioritized the reduction in carbon emissions levels, the governments’ policies are favoring the growth of the electric bus sales and development of charging networks. Also, the electric bus charging industry is booming due to the wide adoption of electric buses in various countries of the European region, with major suppliers being BYD Co. Ltd., Solaris Bus & Coach SA, VDL Bus & Coach BV, and Volvo AB.
The incentives offered on the purchase of electric buses are also helping the European electric bus charging station market grow. The local governments and the European Union (EU) have been offering incentives or offering funds to boost the adoption of electric buses in the region. For instance, in February 2018, the European Commission sanctioned a $79.44 million (€70 million) aid to a public transport scheme for electric buses (fully electric and plug-in hybrid) and charging infrastructure development in Germany.
The major restraints for the growth of the European electric bus charging station market are the high installation and maintenance costs of charging station and its equipment, and lack of standardization. Also, with very high-power levels required to charge electric buses, the AC/DC conversion and the power conditioning and control circuits require heavy duty components, which make the charging station very expensive and very large in size. In addition, there is a cost of providing access to grid. Electricity generating utility must provide a dedicated supply line capable of delivering very high currents demanded by electric buses.
In Europe, there has been no single agreed-upon standard for electric bus charging infrastructure. There are many connector variants to charge electric buses, causing charging anxiety among the operators. Compatibility between standards has been a problem in the region. A technical standard is important for OEMs and charging infrastructure providers to cater a particular plug designs or voltage rating. The formulation of the international electric bus charging standards is in early stage and is expected to be finalized by ISO/IEC by 2020. Until then, the lack of standardization will continue hampering the growth of the European electric bus charging station market.
Europe Electric Bus Charging Station Market – Competitive Landscape
The European electric bus charging station market is marked by growing number of collaborations between the electric bus charging technology providers and electric bus manufacturers. Some of the key players in the market are ABB Ltd., Bombardier Inc., Ekoenergetyka-Polska Sp.z o.o., Heliox B.V., JEMA Energy SA, Powerdale SCRL, Schunk Carbon Technology, and Siemens Mobility GmbH.