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Pike Research projects alternative fuel buses to represent 50% of total transit bus deliveries by 2015

Transit bus deliveries by fuel type, world markets: 2010-2016. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.

According to a recent report from Pike Research, the current trend toward cleaner transit buses will continue over the next several years, with alternative fuel vehicles representing more than 50% of the 64,000 total transit buses that will be delivered worldwide during 2015, up from 28% of total bus deliveries in 2010.

While the market for diesel buses will remain strong for the foreseeable future, Pike Research expects to see natural gas transit buses growing at an 8.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2010 and 2016 and hybrid transit buses growing by 19.8% during that same period. Pike forecasts that worldwide deliveries of hybrid buses will nearly triple from 5,514 vehicles in 2010 to 16,328 units in 2016.

During the same period, natural gas bus deliveries will increase 61% to 15,937 vehicles. Fuel cell buses, while still rare and expensive, are likely to see some modest increases as well, with deliveries expected to reach 1,083 vehicles in 2016.

Pike Research also anticipates moderate compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of between 1% and 2% in bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicles and light rail, rapid transit, and commuter rail systems.

Transit bus fleets are an important area of focus within the broader effort to reduce emissions from mass transit in urban areas. Of the various options available for making mass transit cleaner, buses are the easiest to implement because changes can be completed without significant new or upgraded infrastructure. While diesel buses will certainly continue to enjoy a long life, alternative fuel vehicles will soon represent the majority of new bus deliveries.

—Pike Research senior analyst Dave Hurst

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the highest penetration regions for alternative fuel buses will be North America and Asia Pacific, each of which will boast adoption rates of more than 60% of new buses delivered within the next five years. The Asia-Pacific region will have the largest demand for buses to keep pace with their growing urban cities, and bus deliveries are expected to grow at a 3.1% CAGR.

The two regions together will represent nearly 70% of all new bus deliveries during the timeframe. Adoption of alternative fuel buses in Europe will be quite a bit lower, representing less than one-third of total deliveries.

Pike Research’s study, “Clean Mass Transit”, examines the opportunities and challenges within the mass transit vehicle market. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of mass transit vehicles, including diesel technology, hybrid battery technology, rail electrification, regenerative braking, government emissions regulations, emerging markets, and key drivers of market growth. The report includes forecasts through 2016 for transit buses, alternative fuel buses, BRT, light rail, rapid transit, and commuter rail by world region. Key market players are also profiled.



Why are cleaner buses moving ahead much faster than cleaner cars?

Is it because the majority is own/bought by public authorities?

Are public authorities ahead of individuals?

If so, we need to be better educated.


Make those new buses CNG hybrid and you will really clean the air and reduce imported oil. Many transit buses are purchased by public sector organizations and thus the public health is a concern.


HarveyD, They are buying for two reasons: 1)They calculate the economics, which consumers do not, and keep the vehicles in service longer than the typical auto buyer, and; 2) clean air in the cities is more important to the electorate collectively than the individual auto buyer.


The other reason is politics - bus purchases are an easy way for politicians to appear "green" - they are effectively rolling billboards. Also, its a good way to reduce city pollution - a bus runs all day long whereas a private car typically does not. So if you electrify a bus it has a proportionally much larger impact.


Either way, it comes down to budgets and money. When politicians can get two gains with one move, they pay attention.

They have to replace buses anyway, so might as well buy some that have lower fuel costs. By the way, they are cleaner too, so they talk about public health.


May be, we should all be politicians?


Polis means people, the only people most want to please is their spouse and their boss, which is some cases is the same person.

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