IDTechEx forecasts growth in electric bus and taxi market to $54B in 2021; buses the majority, China largest market
A new report from IDTechEx, “Electric Buses and Taxis 2012-2022”, projects that the market for electric buses and taxis at ex-factory prices will rise 8.7 times from $6.24 billion in 2011 to $54 billion in 2021. The report concentrates primarily on buses defined as enclosed vehicles with a driver that have been designed for stage carriage or transit work and carrying at least 10 passengers.
In the main, the report suggests, the buses will be designed exclusively for that purpose, though some will have power trains used for trucks as well. China will become by far the largest market for both electric buses and electric taxis.
In a note describing the report, Dr. Peter Harrop. Chairman, IDTechEx says that:
The vibrancy in electric buses, both hybrid and pure-electric, is in stark contrast to the despair about pure-electric on-road cars, where sales dribble along at less than one third of the sales of golf cars—a saturated market. Club Car, part of Ingersoll Rand in the US, continues to claim that it is the world’s largest pure-electric car manufacturer purely due to being number one in golf cars.
...Bombardier and many Chinese manufacturers only make pure-electric buses, seeing the interim hybrid option as something for the history books. Fast charging is commonplace and Bombardier has inductive charging as used in its trams and trains. Buses are close systems so they do not need the standardisation that is delaying inductive charging of cars. Bombardier has a lithium-ion battery tolerant of fast charging so it does not use a supercapacitor. By contrast, the Sinautec pure-electric buses, which have supercapacitors fitted for life and no batteries, are about to be bought in hundreds
This is a step to greater things, not least in China where over 100,000 electric buses a year will eventually be bought as part of the national program. On the other hand, Volvo, despite claiming to have been the world’s largest manufacturer of ten-meter-plus pure-electric buses when it passed 500 pure-electric buses delivered, now favours hybrid urban buses of advanced design. This disagreement is healthy and technological change is rapid, putting car manufacturers to shame. Even the UK has recently launched a £20 million green bus competition.