The global market for electric-drive buses is expected to grow from about 119,000 buses in 2016 to 181,000 in 2026, according to a new report from Navigant Research.
In addition, the report finds that battery-electric is expected to be the best-selling type of electric bus powertrain through 2026.
The Navigant Research report analyzes the global market for medium- and heavy-duty electric-drive buses, offering an assessment across hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and fuel cell technologies, with forecasts for annual sales, segmented by region and powertrain type, through 2026.
As governments worldwide implement legislation to improve overall vehicle efficiency and reduce emissions, managers of medium- and heavy-duty bus fleets are looking toward advances in hybrid and electric powertrains to comply and reduce operating costs. After years of testing, solid performance data is now available, making fleet managers more confident in the long-term performance of the technology and more comfortable with its return on investment.
“Electric-drive buses of all types are expected to see steady sales growth over the next decade, driven by clean air legislation and government incentives,” says David Alexander, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “The global market is dominated by the rapid growth of battery-electric bus sales in China, thanks to recent changes in incentives, while hybrid drive is growing strongly in other markets.”
The report notes that fuel cells are expected to enter series production by 2026, and plug-in hybrid drive is expected to get more popular for the rest of the current decade before sales start to decline.