India Electric Bus Market

India Electric Bus Market Size, Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast, 2013-2023

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India Electric Bus Market Overview

India is one of the countries with a poor public transportation infrastructure. Currently, there are around 1.6 million registered buses in India, of which only 170,000 are being operated by public bus operators. Around 5,000 buses in the country are operated under public private partnership (PPP) model.

Most of the electric buses presently plying on the roads are hybrid, as they are low in cost, and provide operational flexibility in terms of consuming alternative fuel. However, New tax structure in India is likely to hamper the adoption of hybrid buses and will push the shipment of pure electric buses in the country. According to the recently announced Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates, Pure electric vehicles will be taxed at 12% and hybrids at 43%, at par with luxury goods.

The country is investing heavily in the research and development of electric buses to push the shipments of such buses in the country. According to Nitin Gadkari, the Union Transport Minister, country’s premium research and academic institutions- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), IIT Madras and IIT Kharagpur are already in the process of developing high-tech lithium-ion batteries. These batteries would be employed to transmute diesel buses into electric ones.

Indian Electric Bus Market to Witness High Growth

Increasing focus on reducing the level of local pollution, noise and fuel consumption, strengthening public transportation, and government incentives and subsidy schemes are some of the driving factors of the electric bus market in India. Besides pollution, there is another major problem associated with the vehicles that run on conventional fuels such as petrol or diesel. Country’s oil import bill has been increasing, and is pegged at INR 4.7 lakh crore in 2016-17, 3% of GDP. India imports 80% of its crude oil requirements, making it immensely reliant on global supplies, which is likely to push shipments of electric buses in India, during the forecast period.

However, erratic power supply, lack of charging infrastructure and high cost of electric buses are the potential hurdles restraining the growth of this market in the country. In India, the cost of diesel buses ranges between $75,000 and $110,000, whereas, the cost of hybrid buses is about 125% higher ($175,000 – $255,000) as compared to diesel buses.

Electric Bus Market Competitiveness

Increasing focus of government of India to control air pollution in the country has led to the development of pure electric and hybrid electric buses, and different companies are collaborating to strengthen their position in the market. In a bid to boost domestic manufacturing of hybrid & electric vehicles, in June 2017, Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra joined hands to work on electric bus. These companies have formed an e-bus consortium to discover a solution for electric bus mobility.

Companies operating in the Indian electric bus market are also following the strategies of product launch, and orders and contracts to compete with their peers. Recently, Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) placed an order with Volvo to procure 8400 Hybrid City Bus. Volvo delivered 5 buses under this contract to NMMT. Volvo 8400 Hybrid Buses are also being delivered under the central government's FAME scheme, that has helped provide a subsidy of $100,000 (INR 6.1 million) on the total cost of $375,000 (INR 23 million). In October 2016, Ashok Leyland launched India’s 1st electric bus. The bus has a capacity to accommodate up to 44 passengers, and is available in lengths of 9.7meter, 10.4meter, 11.1 meter and 11.8 meter. The bus is aimed for feeder, airport tarmac and intra-city applications.

Some of the key vendors operating in Indian electric bus market include Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, JBM Auto Ltd, Mahindra & Mahindra, BYD Company Limited and Volvo buses.

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