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Electric Drive Bus Sales ‘to Quadruple’ by 2018

Global sales of electric drive buses are set to quadruple over the next six years, driven by an explosion in demand from the Asia Pacific region, according to a report by Pike Research.

Electric Drive Buses says that by 2018 annual sales of buses with hybrid systems, battery electric systems or fuel cells will reach 20,000 worldwide, compared to 5,000 expected in 2012. In some regions this massive increase will be led in part by public policy, which has shifted its focus away from other pollutants and toward greenhouse gases, spurring interest in low carbon and zero-emission buses powered by batteries or fuel cells, the report says.

Annual sales in the Asia Pacific region will increase from around 3,000 vehicles in 2012 to around 15,000 vehicles in 2018, the report says. China is the driving force behind this growth. Since 2009, the country has been undertaking a major initiative to deploy electric vehicles of all types through its Ten Cities, Thousand Vehicles program. Since the inception of the program, China has deployed hundreds of buses become a leading developer of battery-powered electric buses, Pike says. More than 10 electric bus manufacturers now call the country home.

Demand for electric drive buses should increase in other regions covered by the report, but to a far lesser degree than in the Asia Pacific, Pike said. The North American market will expand from around 2,000 annual sales in 2012 to around 3,000 in 2018. Western Europe will see demand increase from less than 1,000 electric drive buses a year in 2012 to around 2,000 a year in 2018, the report says.

In July, Chinese bus firm BYD announced it was to supply up to 500 of its GreenCity electric buses for service in Uraguay. Companies CTS and Buquebus will run the buses, which are able to run 155 miles on a single charge in urban conditions, with an energy consumption of less than 130 kWh per 62 miles. The BYD buses have been in service in four Chinese cities – Shenzhen, Changsha, Shaoguan and Xi’an – accumulating over 3.4 million miles by the end of April 2012.

The city of Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands, is due to launch six long-range all electric buses from BYD early next year.

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