According to Pike Research, the Chinese market will constitute the majority of global electric bus sales, while more developed markets will see ups and downs.
Charged readers have recently read about trials of electric buses in California, Sweden, Canada, and China. These are just a few examples of a growing trend, according to a new report from Pike Research, which forecasts steady growth in the global market, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.4% from 2012 to 2018. Over the past few years, government subsidies have helped to accelerate the deployment of various types of advanced drivetrains, including hybrid, battery and fuel cell systems.
According to Pike, the Chinese market will constitute the majority of global electric bus sales, while more developed markets will see ups and downs, more due to austerity measures and the end of stimulus funding than to any changes in demand. Sales in Western Europe are forecast to show steady growth, while the Latin American market will be mostly in Brazil, although Uruguay recently announced plans to buy 500 battery electric buses.
Pike says that global demand for Li-ion batteries in electric buses will be over 162,000 kWh in 2012, and expects that demand to grow to more than 1.3 million kWh by 2018, a CAGR of 42%. It notes that the bus market represents an early opportunity for Li-ion battery companies looking for additional markets. Since battery buses are expected to be almost 100% powered by lithium ion, and they require much larger batteries than hybrids, this market offers great growth potential.