U.S. Electric Bus Market Overview
The demand for electric buses in the U.S. has augmented dramatically over the last decade. More than 47,000 electric buses are plying on the country’s roads and it has a target to reach 1 million by 2025. The transit agencies in the U.S. are reflecting their interest in zero emission buses. The major transit agencies including metropolitan transportation authority (MTA), Chicago transit authority (CTA), Los Angeles county metropolitan transportation authority (LACMTA) and south-eastern Pennsylvania transportation authority (SEPTA), are considering electric propulsion system of buses, as a dominant factor behind new purchase.
The U.S. is home to a large number of pure electric, hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cells buses. Hybrid buses accounted for around 40% bus purchases in the U.S. during last few years. The local and state government initiatives towards lower greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., is a promising growth factor boosting the demand of such buses in the country. South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in Southern California has recently restricted the procurement of new diesel buses for the local public transportation. This is expected to drive the sales of electric and hybrid buses in the region. School buses are also being replaced by electricity operated buses. In December 2013, SCAQMD received $391,613 as funding under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), for the replacement of nine diesel school buses with electric buses.
The market in the country is predominantly driven by rising air quality concerns, high dependence on conventional or non-renewable fuels, strong environmental ethics and the growing need to assimilate renewables into a network. Penetration of charging infrastructure also plays a significant role in market development. For instance, California had 10,280 public charging places situated at 3,376 amenities, as well as 2,041 private charging stations located at 609 amenities.
Key players in the U.S. electric bus market are inventing new electric bus models having substantial performance to expand their customer base. These players are developing advanced and innovative electric buses with more capabilities. The advancement of improved models, along with quicker and simplified charging systems has led to the replacement of existing traditional buses with the battery-powered model. In September 2016, Proterra introduced Catalyst E2, pure electric bus that can store between 440 – 660 kWh of energy and can attain a minimal range of 194 – 350 miles, depending on battery configuration.
Electric bus manufacturers in the country have also worked on to improve the speed of such buses and expand their capability to accelerate. For instance, K9 electric transit bus, offered by BYD Motors Inc., offers an enhanced speed of 62 mph, which makes it suitable to run on highways. Further, K9 is motorized by two 100kW brushless AC synchronous motors to ensure smooth and speedy acceleration, making it far better than conventional electric transit buses.
The Chinese electric bus manufacturers are increasing their market penetration in the U.S. For instance, BYD has the largest market share among all other Chinese electric bus players operating in the U.S. The major factor behind its success in the U.S. market is the larger battery life, size, and efficiency of its buses. The long buses of BYD are creating high competition for the domestic electric bus manufacturers in the country. Some of the key electric bus manufacturers of the country include Proterra, BYD Motors Inc., GreenPower Motor Company Inc., and Nova Bus, a part of Volvo Group.
The U.S. ELECTRIC BUS MARKET SEGMENTATION
Series Parallel Hybrid
Above 10 Meters
Below 10 Meters