Electric trucks and buses show massive sales growth in Europe

The market share of fully electric trucks and buses is growing at an impressive pace in Europe, according to a new report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

The news comes to us via the Australian EV news site The Driven. Writer Daniel Bleakley laments that his country is so far behind the curve (a report by The Australia Institute found that a paltry 0.2% of Australia’s bus fleet is electric).

The ICCT reports that 11,000 zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles were sold in Europe in 2023, more than double the number sold in 2022, and that 18% of all buses and coaches sold in the EU in 2023 were electric. It says 5% of light- and medium-duty trucks and 1% of heavy-duty trucks sold were electric.

The real stars of the show are city transit buses, which currently represent one of the best use cases for EVs. According to the ICCT, in Q4 of 2023, 43% of all new city buses sold in Europe were fully electric. In the overall bus market, including long-haul interurban coaches, electric bus market share was “only” 22%—but that represents a five-fold increase in market share since 2019.

EU member states are by no means on the same track when it comes to electrifying their bus fleets. In 2023, battery-electric transit buses made up 100% of purchases in Luxembourg, Ireland and Denmark, and 98% in the Netherlands. In Germany, Austria and Belgium, by contrast, diesel buses still made up 75% of new bus sales.

The market share of electric trucks is far smaller than that of buses, but it’s growing fast. The ICCT tells us that light- and medium-duty electric truck sales in Europe increased by 200% year-on-year in 2023. The Ford E-Transit is the leading zero-emission model.

Sales of heavy-duty trucks (over 12 tonnes GVW) are also seeing rapid growth—some 2,600 were sold in 2023, up from 820 sold in 2022.

According to the ICCT, Volvo Group (Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks) produced 70% of all the electric heavy-duty trucks sold in Europe in 2023. The group’s sales of electric heavy-duty trucks for the EU market are now double those of legacy diesel trucks. Good news for our friends at The Driven: Volvo just sold its first electric heavy-duty truck in Australia.

Another recent study found that, in addition to already having far lower running costs, electric trucks will hit purchase price parity with comparable diesel models much sooner than predicted, thanks to plummeting battery costs.

Source: International Council on Clean Transportation via The Driven

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