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From $469.3 million in 2019, the U.S. electric bus market size is predicted to witness a CAGR of 58.4% during the forecast period (2020–2024). The strongest drivers for the growth of the industry include the environmental benefits of electric vehicles (EV), stringent emission control regulations in the country, long-term operational cost-benefits these vehicles offer to transit agencies, government support for EVs, in the form of funding and subsidies, and falling price and rising efficiency of automotive batteries.
As per the analysis, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on the global automotive sector outlook, including the U.S. electric bus market, and the same scenario is expected in the near future. Being the worst-hit country by the virus, the U.S. has locked itself down in order to minimize the number of victims, which has led to the shutdown of automotive plants. In addition, the slump in the crude oil prices is expected to encourage transit firms to revert to conventional buses to some extent. Moreover, with social distancing being practiced widely, public transport ridership will likely fall, making it infeasible for transportation companies to invest in the expensive electric buses.
The battery electric bus (BEB) category, under the vehicle type segment, is predicted to witness the fastest growth in the U.S. electric bus market over the forecast period. As BEBs are the cleanest of all electric buses owing to the absence of the internal combustion engine (ICE), they receive the strongest support from governments. Moreover, with extensive research and development (R&D), batteries have become cheaper and more efficient, thereby making these buses popular among transit companies.
During the historical period (2015–2019), the >40 feet bifurcation, on the basis of length, held the larger U.S. electric bus industry share. Compared to a conventional diesel bus of the same length, a hybrid electric bus (HEB) offers a higher mileage, especially the longer ones. For instance, compared to a 60-foot diesel bus, an HEB of similar length offers 38.5% higher mileage, whereas for 40-foot buses, this difference is 21.2%. Higher the mileage, lesser the need for electricity, which makes longer buses more environment-friendly, which is why they are witnessing a rising demand across the country.
Till 2024, the U.S. electric bus market will be dominated by the lithium-ion (Li-ion) category, based on battery. The continuous decline in the price of such energy storage devices, along with their lightness, compactness, and low self-discharge rate, is driving their demand in electric buses. Another major reason for the larger size of this category is the higher energy density of Li-ion batteries, which gives the buses a longer driving range on a full charge.
The inductive category, under segmentation by charging type, will witness the fastest U.S. electric bus market growth in the years to come. This kind of charging replenishes the EV battery much quicker than other technologies. Since range anxiety, for which the long charging time is one of the biggest reasons, is a key restraint for the EV sector, manufacturers of electric buses are generating a high demand for the inductive technology in their automobiles.
The key U.S. electric bus market trend is the adoption of buses that use depot charging over those that use the en-route charging technology. Earlier, most of the electric buses operational in the country were those with a small-sized battery, which needs to be charged frequently. However, now depot-charging buses, which have a larger battery, which needs to be charged once, overnight, are becoming popular because such variants are operationally similar to conventional diesel buses. Moreover, with improvements in the battery technology, depot-charging buses with a longer driver range are being launched in the nation.
The strongest U.S. electric bus market driver is the environmental benefits these vehicles offer. The U.S. is the world’s second-largest carbon emitter after China, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimating the transportation sector’s 2018 share in the total emissions at 28%. Thus, EVs are being strongly promoted in the country, as they either do not have an ICE or have one that is used in conjunction with an electric motor, thereby leading to fewer emissions.
Another major factor aiding the U.S. electric bus market growth is the availability of government funding for procuring such low- and zero-emission vehicles. For instance, in 2018, the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) offered a combined $85 million to 50 local and state governments to induct electric buses in their public transportation fleets. The Low or No Emission Grant program, which the funding was part of, and the State of Good Repair Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program of the Department of Transportation (DoT) are among the federal-level initiatives in the country to increase the usage of electric buses.
|Base Year (2019) Market Size||$469.3 Million|
|Forecast Period (2020-2024) CAGR||58.4%|
|Report Coverage||Market Trends, Revenue Estimation and Forecast, Segmentation Analysis, Companies’ Strategic Developments, Key Offerings of Major Players, Company Profiling|
|Market Size by Segments||Vehicle Type, Length, Battery, Charging Type|
|Secondary Sources and References (Partial List)||American Public Transportation Association (APTA), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC)|
As the adoption of clean-energy buses is still at its nascent stage, the industry is highly consolidated, with the top 2–3 bus manufacturers holding an over-90% U.S. electric bus market share. To make the most of the government efforts for clean mobility, these companies are pursuing client orders to increase their revenue. For instance,
The U.S. electric bus market report offers comprehensive market segmentation analysis along with market estimation for the period 2015-2024.
Based on Vehicle Type
Based on Length
Based on Battery
Based on Charging Type