The growing concerns over greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, declining cost and improving operational efficiency of batteries, long-term cost benefits of electric buses, and increasing adoption of these buses as a replacement for diesel variants are the major factors driving the growth of the electric bus market globally. As a result of these factors, the industry reported 82,604 unit sales in 2020 which is expected to advance at a CAGR of 14.9% during the forecast period (2021–2026).
The global electric bus market is categorized into battery electric bus (BEB), plug-in hybrid electric bus (PHEB), and hybrid electric bus (HEB), on the basis of vehicle. Among these, BEBs accounted for the largest market share in 2020 owing to the rising government support in the form of incentives, subsidies, and other financial benefits, to enhance the use of these eco-friendly buses.
Furthermore, the electric bus market is categorized into the public and private sectors, on the basis of end user. Out of these, the private sector is expected to record the higher growth rate during the forecast period. With the ongoing diminution in lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery prices, the upfront cost of electric buses is expected to dwindle, which, in turn, would lower their total cost of ownership (TCO). This is projected to result in a rapid uptake of these low- and zero-emission vehicles by private transport entities.
Geographically, Asia-Pacific (APAC) accounted for the largest share in the electric bus market in 2020. This is mainly ascribed to the escalating electric bus sales in China. Essentially, the favorable policies implemented and financial incentives being provided by governments in order to transition to a low-carbon economy are having a positive influence on the regional market growth.
The global electric bus market is highly competitive in nature with the presence of several major players, who are launching many new models to bolster their business. For instance, in July 2019, Tata Motors Limited showcased seven new public transport vehicles at Prawaas 2019. The company displayed the Magna 1623, Starbus 1212, Cityride 1515, Winger 9-seater, Compact Patient Transport Ambulance on Tata Magic, Tata Hexa SUV, as well as Ultra Electric Bus.
Similarly, in July 2019, Ashok Leyland Limited launched OYSTER. It is company’s next-generation AC midi-bus in the premium category in India. It is a multi-purpose bus designed and manufactured in-house for staff and tourist commute.
Some of the major players operating in the electric bus market are Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co. Ltd., BYD Company Limited, Zhongtong Bus & Holding Co. Ltd., Nanjing Golden Dragon Bus Co. Ltd., Zhuhai Yinlong New Energy Ltd., Futian Ouhui Bus, and AB Volvo.