How big is the global electric bus market?

Jon Lawson

The global electric bus market is experiencing significant investment. Here, Nikhil Sarode from Global Market Insights outlines some figures. 

In January 2021, Proterra, a major player in the market, agreed to go public by means of a merger with ArcLight Clean Transition, joining numerous electric vehicle makers in a transaction that was valued at US$1.6 billion, comprising debt. 

The agreement will offer the US manufacturer a sum of US$648 million in cash and another sum of US$415 million from investors comprising Fidelity Management, Daimler Trucks, funds managed by BlackRock, Franklin Templeton and venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya.

Similar advancements are expected to foster an increase in electric bus projects through the forthcoming years. As per the latest research by Global Market Insights, the global electric bus market size is estimated to surpass US$53 billion by 2027.

This escalation is ascribed to the strict emission regulations imposed by US government authorities, specifically the Environmental Protection Agency. For example, the EPA’s vehicle greenhouse gas rules will help in the elimination of nearly six billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution by 2025.

Hybrid buses are powered by a combination of diesel/gasoline and electric engines. This provides them with an improved range in terms of kilometres. These buses are in high demand due to their low cost in comparison to fuel cell electric vehicles (FECVs) and all-electric buses. Owing to these factors, the PHEV bus segment is expected to exhibit steady growth through the analysis period.

Eminent players in the electric bus market are Zhongtong Bus Holdings, AB Volvo, Scania AG, BYD, VDL Group, Daimler AG, Alexander Dennis, Yutong, Solaris, Ankai Bus and NFI Group amongst others. These electric bus manufacturers are focusing on acquisitions and mergers, as well as product launches for the enhancement of their business operations. 

Citing an instance, in September 2018, CAF Group unveiled plans to acquire Solaris Bus and Coach. The deal helped the company to enter the electric bus industry.

However, the market is facing numerous challenges owing to the rapid spread of the pandemic at the global level. Several travel restrictions issued by various governments have imposed a ban on domestic and international movement. While there has been a decline in the sales of electric buses, measures towards the containment of the virus and steps toward economic revival are expected to drive market growth through the coming years.

The Middle East & Africa electric bus industry is estimated to record substantial growth owing to an upsurge in the demand for electric buses in countries comprising Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The increasing presence of OEMs, rising government support and the development of sustainable electric mass transit solutions are anticipated to bolster industry expansion over the estimated span. In November 2019, the Shanghai Wanxiang Group from China helped Egypt’s Arab Organisation for Industrialisation in the introduction of its first electric bus in the country.

On the whole, increasingly supportive policy measures coupled with surging government regulations towards vehicular emissions will augment the electric bus market size going forward.


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