Huge orders to come for electric buses
Cars are so yesterday. Yes there will be two billion of them and various forecasters see over 90% of them being pure electric in 2040 but well before that the demand for cars will peak according to IDTechEx, Bloomberg and many other analysts. Cities are already repurposing car parks as apartments, supermarkets and more to cope with the move to cities. 80% of people will live in cities by 2050. Few will have private cars. By contrast, the demand for buses will power on up, with no peaking for decades because they are part of the solution to the private cars being idle 96% of the time and wasting a lot of road space per passenger when they are used not just real estate when not in use.
It is the megacities that need the most zero emission buses and Europe does not even have one. The largest city there is London at half the size of a megacity. However, even London has over 6000 buses and only one percent are zero emission pure electric as yet. The emissions deaths continue. Nonetheless, at some stage all the buses in London will have to go pure electric because the outrage is building, the cost of ownership is lower and the Government has lost two court cases on the matter. Germany must replace its 40,000 buses.
Meanwhile, there are over 170,000 large pure electric buses already plying the routes in China and one order was near one billion dollars for 2000 of them. Indeed, within 3 years, the Chinese city Guangzhou now wants to replace its entire bus fleet with all-electric buses. According to the news agency Xinhua, this means about 30,000 electric buses are going to be deployed in Guangzhou with its 11m inhabitants. That could be around $15 billion of business for just one city. The more complex fuel cell buses are also zero emission at point of use and Hydrogenics recently reported an order for 3000 fuel cells for that number of buses over the next three years or so in China. Business is booming.
Dr Peter Harrop is leading author of the definitive report on the subject, Electric Buses 2018-2038 and he advises, "Bus technology is progressing in leaps and bounds, fed by the huge markets emerging, with value sales exceeding hybrid and pure electric cars after 2030. For example, the USA buys 40,000 school buses yearly and they will go electric on economics not just environmental arguments. Adding a new sector, there are many developments of driverless buses for twenty people or less and some may double as taxis to reflect demand patterns."
Reflecting the fact that the most exciting auto industry initiatives are often now in Silicon Valley, IDTechEx stages its annual emerging technologies event IDTechEx Show! in Santa Clara November 15-16. It includes many masterclasses before and after, a 200 stand exhibition and a conference on Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing with Porsche and Zero Motorcycles among the keynote speakers. Parallel conferences cover enabling technologies from IOT to energy harvesting. Also relevant to buses, cars and much more is the world's first conference on Energy Independent Electric Vehicles at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands 27-28 September again staged by IDTechEx, the leading analyst on the subject.