Plug-In Electric Bus Sales: Up 40% So Far In 2017

DEC 18 2017 BY MARK KANE 17

Proterra

According to the latest report, global plug-in electric bus sales have increased by 40% between 2016 and 2017 (to date).

The interior of BYD Coach and Bus factor

The highest growth rates for ebuses (as with light vehicles sales) are of course seen in countries with the largest incentives versus liquid fuel options.

The main obstacle for electrified bus adoption is the higher upfront costs compared to conventional buses.

“In the electric drive bus market, costs of key components such as batteries, motors, and power electronics are declining thanks to increasing volume.

These improvements are helping plug-in hybrid and battery electric buses become more viable for fleets, and sales are poised to grow across all geographic markets through 2027.”

The report goes on to say that conventional diesel buses will still be responsible for majority of sales 10 years from now in 2027.

Still, overall bus sales are expected to increase 25% over the next 10 years (from around 800,000 today to more than 1 million in 2027), so the growing share of plug-ins inside an expanding segment, is still very appealing for manufacturers.

Lisa Jerram, principal research analyst with Navigant Research said:

“Transit agencies are interested in battery electric buses, thanks to their potential for lower operating costs in addition to having zero emissions and reduced noise. New orders for electric buses are growing rapidly, although the transition to battery electric buses will take many years, as agencies test the technology and bus manufacturers ramp up production.”

New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE 60’

Report: Market Data: Electric Drive Buses

Categories: Bus

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17 responses to "Plug-In Electric Bus Sales: Up 40% So Far In 2017"
  1. Assaf says:

    They mean China, right?
    After all, that was 98% of the global bus market in 2016, and the Chinese were also making most of the remaining 2% 🙂

    1. mx says:

      You’d think that US Vacation Towns would JUMP on this.
      As the stink of diesel buses is really off-putting.

  2. Ziv says:

    Proterra has now built around 276 e-buses for 3 countries. BYD built their 10,000th bus last year and has 6,000 or so orders.

    https://insideevs.com/byd-produced-10000th-electric-bus-next-10000-started/

    1. windbourne says:

      Wow.
      I did not realize that.
      Thank you.

    2. Robb Stark says:

      https://electrek.co/2017/06/13/bmw-electric-bus-maker-proterra-al-gore/

      Proterra had delivered over 380 buses as of June 13,2017. They have “sold” over 400 and have over 300 on order.

      They have opened a new facility outside Los Angeles with a capacity of 400 buses per year which doubles their capacity to 800.

      No, they are not being funded by the Chinese government. Nor are the majority of their sales to Chinese governments. It is a lot easier when riding the Chinese gravy train, but it can end on a whim.

  3. Daniel Lavia says:

    I see two big misses in this piece of news:
    1. What are the electric bus sales this year? 1,000? 20,000?
    2. Missing the fact that probably +95% are from Chinese manufacturers (who’s selling the big numbers? I know it’s not Proterra).

  4. I was just at Disney World, and all the time I was thinking, if anybody could use an electrified fleet, it’s them. Sooooo many diesel buses driving around and, worse, sitting idling when they’re not.

    1. mx says:

      Worse, you usually have 10 minibuses idling, gas and diesel, spewing their pollution at airport entrances, keeping their A/C on at full blast.

      It really gives Disney a black eye.

  5. Assaf says:

    Look up the ‘Buses’ tag in the EV sales blog.
    http://ev-sales.blogspot.com/search/label/Buses

    In 2016 135,000 *new* electric buses were deployed in China, ~90% of them BEVs.
    That was a ~20% increase over 2015, which was the big jump year.

    The globally-famous BYD is actually only the #2 or #3 inside China, with volumes split fairly evenly between several large e-bus makers.

    By comparison, all of Europe had only ~1300 e-buses deployed *cumulatively* through mid-2016 or late 2016. And that number included several hundred trolleys equipped with an additional battery to enable “hopping” out of the line for a few km.

    And as Ziv wrote above, the much-publicized US-based Proterra is still in the hundreds.

    1. Tom says:

      I’m not sure I can even process that kind of differential.

  6. wavelet says:

    ??
    800K to 1M in 10 years is considered good growth for an EV segment?? That’s a CAGR of 2.2%… The annual global population increase alone is 1.1% .
    And this after a 40% increase form last year? Something doesn’t make sense here.

    1. sandbun says:

      Could be wrong, but I read that as the total number of buses on the road, electric and not, is expected to grow from 800K to 1M in 10 years.

      1. wavelet says:

        Nope. There were already >10M buses (of all types) worldwide in 2016.
        http://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/12356479/electric-buses-worldwide-fleet-ten-folded-in-the-last-two-years-demand-from-asia-dominates-the-market

        Note that the % of the global bus fleet on the road (not sales marketshare) was ~3% already in 2016… That’s about 10x the % of EVs in the global car fleet:
        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/07/electric-cars-sales-2-million-worldwide-global-sales

        I’m convinced there’s either a big misunderstanding of the report here, or the report is worthless. Givne it’s by Navigant, probably the latter. Every single report by them I’ve read was idiotic.

        1. Mikael says:

          It is the total number of bus sales per year. So they are saying that sales will increase to 1 million per year and that more than 500k sales per year will still be diesel.

          The EV bus sales were >135k last year, meaning that with 40% increase the EV bus sales in 2017 will reach somewhere around 190k.

          Or as a percentage of about 24-25% of the global bus sales. Which is an incredible number with thanks to no one but China.

          1. wavelet says:

            Ah, thanks. I misread it as EV bus sales increasing 25%, not total bus sales. That’s different, and makes a lot more sense.

  7. Don Zenga says:

    36,000 plugin heavy vehicles were sold in China in last month alone and I am sure most of that will be buses since they travel 300 – 400 km / day and can get the ROI very quickly. This is more than the YTD sales of buses in the rest of the world.

    Unfortunately Proterra has priced their bus so high that many transit agencies should be balking. That’s the sad part. I think they are charging $200,000. The only company that prices the electric vehicles affordably is TESLA and you can see their semi being priced at just $150,000.

    1. windbourne says:

      Proterra is not subsidized by Chinese gov.

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