Electric bus sales will generate US$51 Billion by 2045.

Electric and Fuel Cell Buses 2025-2045: Markets, Players, Technologies and Forecasts

Electric Bus Markets - Battery electric, fuel cell and hybrid. Li-ion batteries for buses, motors, charging infrastructure and thermal management. Regional sales and forecasts for key electric bus markets

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Buses are the most common form of public transport in the world and are integral to public transport networks. In 2023, around 330,000 new bus and coach vehicles were produced. In most regions, these are primarily diesel, which not only contributes to CO₂ emissions but reduces air quality, especially in the most dense urban regions.
The global electrification of bus fleets is gaining increasing momentum around the globe after initially being confined to the Chinese market. IDTechEx research indicates that around 60,000 electric buses were sold in 2023 and that by 2045 this number will reach 190,000 annually. This report unpacks the factors that will drive this growth and gives in depth regional assessments into market trends and players. Technological innovation is also explored, with the latest developments in Li-ion batteries for buses, cathode chemistry trends, electric motors, fuel cells and charging infrastructure.
Global sales snapshot - China first and the rest of the world follows
Global electric bus sales peaked in 2016 and have endured a period of decline. Regions other than China are now driving renewed growth. Source: IDTechEx
Global sales of electric buses began at scale in the early 2010s, but the market has until recently been entirely dominated by China. A period of explosive growth helped in part by generous subsidies led to a peak of almost 120,000 sales in 2016. In the following years, a combination of subsidy withdrawal and saturation of tier-1 cities has caused sales in China to decline and then plateau. The rest of the world is only now following suit, with the European market leading the way.
Global electric bus sales in all regions except China. Strong growth can be seen, particularly in the Europe + UK market. Source: IDTechEx
Market overview - increasingly competitive and diverse.
There is a wide range of players in the electric bus space, making it an increasingly competitive market. In Europe, pure electric bus startups are now competing with the late entry of legacy bus OEMs (those who have a history manufacturing diesel buses) and Chinese imports. In 2023 the leading holder of market share was MAN, which held 16% of the available market share. Operators have a wealth of choice in terms of suppliers and models - and for many the challenge remains the higher upfront costs, with an electric bus being twice as expensive as an equivalent diesel bus. This report also provides current market analysis of China, the US, Latin America, Korea, Japan and India.
The segmented European electric bus market includes domestic OEMs, pure electric bus startups, and Chinese exports (in red). Source: IDTechEx
Battery electric or fuel cell?
In this report, IDTechEx studies the comparative deployments and merits of the main candidates for electrification:
  • BEB (Battery electric buses), fully battery electric with only onboard batteries. The most successful form of electrification with high drivetrain efficiencies. Improvements in battery storage and route optimization are allowing BEBs to succeed on real-world routes and they are no longer 'pilot projects' but in active service. IDTechEx predicts continued strong growth for BEBs as they become the dominant replacement for diesel buses, especially in the city bus sector.
  • FCEB (Fuel cell electric buses), on-board battery combined with a fuel cell stack and onboard hydrogen storage. Compared with BEBs they bring the promise of greater range and quicker refueling, but the high component cost and difficulty of sourcing cheap green hydrogen remain a consistent challenge. IDTechEx research shows much lower market penetration vs BEBs, with some operators even abandoning FCEBs in favor of BEBs. However, IDTechEx does expect the greater range of FCEBs to afford the technology some share of the long-distance coach market where opportunity charging is limited. Certain regions (such as Japan and South Korea) that have ambitious hydrogen policies will also see stronger growth of FCEBs.
This report provides in-depth analysis of case studies, TCO considerations and quantitative and qualitative benchmarking on electric bus technologies. Key questions are answered such as what battery energy density improvements will mean for range, and what are the infrastructure costs associated with fleet electrification. CO₂ emissions of FCEBs by the color of hydrogen used, and real-world efficiency and consumption data are explored and disseminated by IDTechEx in this report.
Batteries: capacity, chemistry choices and suppliers
The bus market is comparatively smaller in GWh volume demand than other sectors such as passenger cars, and this impacts economic decisions around battery pack sourcing. Whilst for the largest volume segments, vertical integration reduces costs and increases supply chain security, many bus OEMs do not require packs in the volume to warrant the investment required for in-house battery production. There are a few exceptions (BYD and MAN), which leverage demand in other sectors to reach the required demand. For most OEMs, battery packs are outsourced and this report includes information on the various battery pack suppliers and benchmarks products by capacity (kWh), chemistry (LFP/NMC) and energy density (kWh/kg).
IDTechEx has tracked the maximum available battery configuration for various electric bus models by release year, and a clear trend of increasing capacity and models can be seen. This has been driven by two main factors, increases in energy density (kWh/kg) meaning more energy can be stored in the same weight battery, and decreasing pack prices. The overall result for electric buses is increased range and options for routes.
Battery pack capacity (kWh) has been increasing on average in the global bus market. The number of models on offer has also increased. Source: IDTechEx
Electric motors
Replacing diesel ICE (internal combustion engines) with electric motors presents new opportunities and challenges for electric buses. This report explores the various technical options for motors (PMSM, ACIM, etc) and the various configurations they can be integrated into an electric bus. Tier-1 supplier analysis and supply relationships are also studied, with benchmarking of commercial traction motors by power and torque density.
Market outlook
In this report, IDTechEx combines extensive in-depth market data, first-hand interviews with industry players, and attendance at global events to assess, quantify and forecast the global electric bus market. This report contains granular forecasts for the global electric bus market up to 2045 including:
  • Sales by region (China, Europe, USA, India, RoW)
  • Sales by drivetrain (FCEB, BEB)
  • Annual revenue (US$ billions)
  • Annual battery demand (GWh)
With a forecast market value of USD$180 billion predicted by 2045, this report informs and advises on this growing but competitive aspect of transport electrification.
Key Aspects
This report provides commercial and technical market intelligence on the electric bus industry, including:
Global Historic Sales
  • Current market is contextualised through historic data on sales back to 2015, with regional granularity across China, Europe, India, USA and RoW.
  • Regional policies and key market players are discussed and analysed, with sales breakdowns by OEMs across major regions.
Batteries for Electric Buses
  • Key Li-ion technologies and cathode chemistries for bus onboard energy storage.
  • Regional market shares by chemistry, and key supplier/OEM relationships.
  • Cycle life assessment, and market trends for battery sizing among current models.
  • Key developments in battery pack providers
Thermal Management for Electric Buses
  • Overview of fire protection materials for bus batteries.
  • Onboard HVAC technological developments
Electric Motors for Buses
  • Key traction technologies, ACIM and PMSM and performance ranking for buses.
  • Power density benchmarking, and market shares.
  • Motor mounting (central vs eAxle) analysis
  • Key tier 1 motor suppliers, and OEM relationships.
  • Motor cooling strategies
Charging Infrastructure and Technologies for Buses
  • Overview of charging levels and key technologies
  • Battery Swapping, Pantograph charging, Wireless charging and plug-in charging for buses.
  • Opportunity and depot charging.
  • Infrastructure CAPEX costs.
Fuel Cell Electric Buses
  • Fuel Cell technology overview, key market players.
  • System efficiency and well-to-wheel carbon emissions.
  • Fuel cell electric bus consumption benchmarking.
Plug-in Hybrid Buses and Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine Buses.
  • Overview of further options for net-zero buses.
  • Hydrogen internal combustion vs fuel cell efficiency comparisons.
Benchmarking and Cost Analysis.
  • TCO analysis, purchase costs and operational costs.
  • Real world efficiency and consumption comparisons, infrastructure and fuel costs.
  • Vehicle range and route suitability. Outlook for fuel cell buses as battery energy density improves.
Report MetricsDetails
Historic Data2015 - 2023
CAGRThe global electric bus market across all drivetrains will reach 190k units by 2045, compared to 60k in 2023 - a CAGR of 5.3% over 20 years.
Forecast Period2025 - 2045
Forecast UnitsVolume (units), $USB (revenue), GWh (Battery Demand)
Regions CoveredWorldwide, China, Europe, United States
Segments CoveredFuel Cell electric buses, battery electric buses, plug in hybrid electric buses, battery packs for electric buses.
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Table of Contents
1.1.Report Overview
1.2.Executive Summary (1)
1.3.Executive Summary (2)
1.4.Global Bus and Coach Vehicle Production
1.5.Categorization of Drivetrain Terms
1.6.Electric Buses - a Global Outlook
1.7.Bus Categories and Electrification Rates
1.8.Electric Buses - Key Players
1.9.Electric Bus OEMs and Market Shares in China
1.10.Electric Bus OEMs and Market Shares in Europe
1.11.Battery Capacity in Buses Increasing
1.12.Regional Battery Sizing Trends
1.13.Chinese Market Favours LFP, European Market More Mixed
1.14.Motor Mounting - Central or Axle Mounted
1.15.Motor Benchmarking and Metrics for Buses
1.16.Forecast Commentary - Regional
1.17.Electric Bus Sales Forecast to Regionally Diversify by 2045
1.18.Electric Bus Sales Historic & Forecast By Region - 2015-2045
1.19.Forecast Commentary - Drivetrain
1.20.Electric Bus Sales by Drivetrain 2015-2045
1.21.Battery Demand and Market Value 2024-2045
2.1.1.The Core Driver for Transport Decarbonization
2.1.2.Urban Air Quality
2.1.3.Fossil Fuel Vehicle Sales Bans
2.1.4.Low and Ultra Low Emissions Zones
2.1.5.TCO Considerations: Zero Emission Buses
2.2.Options for Reduced Emissions Buses
2.2.1.Replacement for ICE - Alternative Drivetrains
2.2.2.Bus Categories and Electrification
2.2.3.Transit and City Buses - an Overview
2.2.4.Coaches - an Overview
2.2.5.Overview of Bus Types and Specific Challenges to Electrification
2.2.6.Categorization of Drivetrain Terms
2.2.7.Options for Reduced Emissions Buses
3.1.1.Global Markets for Alternative Drivetrain Buses - a Summary
3.1.2.Global Bus and Coach Vehicle Production
3.1.3.Global Overview of Bus Fleets
3.1.4.Electric Buses - a Global Outlook
3.1.5.Regional Takeaways for Key Regions - (1)
3.1.6.Regional Takeaways for Key Regions - (2)
3.1.7.Selected Other Global Developments in Electric Buses
3.2.Asia - China, Japan, India and South Korea Market Overview
3.2.1.Historic Sales of E-buses in China 2012-2023
3.2.2.NEV Bus Sales - BEB, PHEB and FCEBs
3.2.3.Electric Bus OEMs and Market Shares in China
3.2.4.China - Increasingly Export Led
3.2.5.Chinese Fuel Cell Bus OEM Market Share 2023
3.2.6.Japan - No Domestic Production & Low Imports
3.2.7.Japan - BYD Order Cancelled Due to Chemical Concerns
3.2.8.Japan - Fuel Cell Targets
3.2.9.South Korea - Domestic vs Foreign Buses
3.2.10.South Korea - Continued FCEB Interest
3.2.11.South Korea - FCEB Targets
3.2.13.India - a Large Potential Market with Low Penetration Rates
3.3.Europe + UK Market Overview
3.3.1.UK - Fleet Sales Bounce Back Driven by Electric
3.3.2.UK - ZEBRA and Fleet Shares by Drivetrain
3.3.3.European Union - an Overview
3.3.4.Bus Registrations, FCEB, BEB, PHEV in Europe, 2013-2023
3.3.5.European Union - Policy Directives
3.3.6.European Union - Registrations By Region, 2023
3.3.7.European Union - Disparity Between City Buses and Coaches
3.3.8.Electric Bus OEMs and Market Shares in Europe
3.3.9.European Union, Market Leaders
3.3.10.Key Manufacturers in Europe - MAN and Solaris Emerge Strongly From 2023
3.3.11.European Union - Domestic Manufacturers on the Rise
3.3.12.European Union - Fuel Cell Bus Market
3.3.13.EU JIVE 2 Targets
3.3.14.EU JIVE 2 - Assessment, Low Bar Targets Not Met
3.3.15.Van Hool's Exit of the City Bus Market
3.3.16.Cancelled Orders for Hydrogen City Buses
3.4.America's Market Overview
3.4.1.US Market - Overview
3.4.2.US Market - Bankruptcy of Proterra
3.4.3.US Market - Challenging Financial Environment
3.4.4.US Regulatory Landscape
3.4.5.Transitioning the US Fleet to Zero Emission Buses
3.4.6.The Cost of US Bus Fleet Transition to Zero Emission
3.4.7.Latin America - Strong BEB sales
3.4.8.Latin America - Megacities Drive Growth
4.1.1.Batteries For Buses - Summary
4.1.2.Li-ion Batteries
4.1.3.Lithium battery chemistries
4.1.4.Cathode Comparisons - an Overview
4.1.5.Cathode - Performance Comparison
4.1.6.Specific Requirements for Buses
4.1.7.Pack Location
4.1.8.Lifetime of Buses - UK Data
4.1.9.Average Annual Distance
4.1.10.Differing Cycle Life Requirements for EVs
4.2.Battery Sizing
4.2.1.Battery Sizing - a Summary
4.2.2.Battery Capacity in Buses
4.2.3.Battery Sizing for Citybuses and Coaches
4.2.4.Bus Drivetrain Efficiency
4.2.5.Drag Coefficient, Speed and Body Design
4.2.6.Efficiencies at Low Speeds
4.2.7.City Bus Consumption is the Highest
4.2.8.Battery Size for Buses - Overnight Charging vs End-line Charging
4.2.9.Long Haul Coach Travel Battery Sizing
4.2.10.Manufacturer Consumption Claims
4.2.11.Battery Sizing Trends - Market Analysis
4.3.Battery Pack Suppliers
4.3.1.Developments in pack manufacturers
4.3.2.Chemistries used in electric buses
4.3.3.Battery Suppliers
4.3.4.Battery Suppliers and OEM relationships
4.3.5.Battery Pack Supply Chain Integration Strategies
4.3.6.Bus Battery Manufacturing - Low Volume Segment of EVs
4.3.7.LFP the Dominant Chemistry in China
4.3.8.Evolving Battery Chemistry Choices in Europe
4.3.9.Selected Developments in Battery Pack Providers
4.3.10.CATLs New 1.5 Million km Commercial Vehicle Battery
4.3.11.BYD - 2nd Generation Blade at 190Wh/kg
4.3.12.Battery Pack Benchmarking: Specific Energy vs Energy Density
4.3.13.Selected Bus Pack Manufacturers
4.3.14.BlueBus Solid-state Batteries
5.1.Thermal Runaway and Fires in EVs
5.2.Automotive Fire Incidents: OEMs and Situations
5.3.Fires in Battery Electric Buses
5.4.Fire Protection Materials: Main Categories
5.5.Advantages and Disadvantages
5.6.Density vs Thermal Conductivity - Thermally Insulating
5.7.Lion Electric - self extinguishing modules
5.8.Valeo - Hydronic Thermal Management for Batteries
5.9.Bus Heating
6.1.1.Electric Motors for Buses - Summary
6.1.2.Summary of Traction Motor Types
6.1.3.Comparison of Traction Motor Construction and Merits
6.1.4.Motor Type Power Density Benchmark
6.1.5.Electric Bus Motor Types
6.1.6.Traction Motors of Choice for Electric Buses
6.1.7.AC Induction Motor (ACIM)
6.1.8.AC Induction Motors (ACIM): Working Principle
6.1.9.Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSM): Working Principle
6.1.10.PMSM and ACIM Comparisons - (1)
6.1.11.PMSM and ACIM Comparisons - (2)
6.1.12.Benchmarking and Metrics for Buses
6.1.13.Multiple Motors: Explained
6.1.14.Peak vs Continuous Properties
6.1.16.Motor Mounting - Central or Axle Mounted
6.1.17.Motor Mounting - Central or Axle Mounted (2)
6.2.Motor Suppliers
6.2.1.Motor Suppliers - Overview
6.2.2.Convergence on PM
6.2.3.Motor OEM Supply Relationships
6.2.4.ZF Group - AxTrax and CeTrax
6.2.5.ZF Group - New AxTrax and CeTrax Shift to PM Motors
6.2.7.Voith - Central Motors Only
6.2.8.Traktionssysteme Austria (TSA)
6.2.9.Siemens/Cummins ACCELERA
6.2.10.Dana TM4
6.2.11.Equipmake - Motors for Retrofitting
6.3.Motor Cooling Strategies
6.3.1.Electric motor thermal management overview
6.3.2.Oil cooling
6.3.3.Water-glycol cooling
6.3.4.Commercial Vehicle Motors Power Density Benchmarking
6.3.5.Commercial Vehicle Motors Torque Density Benchmarking
7.1.1.Electric Bus Charging Overview
7.1.2.Overview of Charging Levels
7.1.3.Technological Methods Landscape
7.1.4.Charging: Depot & Opportunity Charging
7.1.5.Charging Infrastructure For Heavy-Duty Vehicles
7.1.6.Depot Colocation for Consumer Charging Hubs
7.1.7.Cost per kW of Installing Chargers
7.1.8.Heliox: Public Transport & Heavy-Duty Vehicle Charging
7.1.9.Heliox's 13 MW Charging Network for Electric Buses
7.1.10.SprintCharge: Battery-Buffered Charging
7.1.11.ABB's Depot Charging Solutions
7.1.12.ABB's 600 kW TOSA Flash-Charging
7.2.Inductive Charging
7.2.1.Resonant Inductive Coupling - The Principle Behind Wireless EV Charging
7.2.2.Wireless Charging Overview
7.2.3.Inductive Charging for Heavy-Duty Applications
7.2.4.InductEV: High-Power Wireless Charging
7.2.5.Case Study: Wireless Charging for Electric Bus Fleets
7.2.6.WAVE - Wireless Charging for Electric Buses
7.2.7.WAVE Wireless Charging Impact on Vehicle Cost
7.2.8.Dynamic Wireless Charging Remains Experimental
7.2.9.Dynamic Charging Trials Underway
7.3.Battery Swapping
7.3.1.Battery Swapping for Electric Buses
7.3.2.Proposed Implementation - Quick Charger Machine
7.3.3.Segmentation of Battery Storage on Buses Poses Challenge for Swapping
8.1.Fuel Cell Buses - New Markets May Boost Low Sales
8.2.Main Advantages / Disadvantages of Fuel Cell Buses
8.3.Introduction to fuel cells
8.4.Fuel Cell Bus Schematics
8.5.What is a Fuel Cell Vehicle?
8.6.30 Years of FCB Development
8.7.Fuel Cell Bus Example Specifications
8.8.Solaris - Record Order for Ballard Fuel Cells
8.9.Solaris Urbino 12 Hydrogen Bus
8.10.CaetanoBus H2.City Gold
8.11.Toyota Motor Europe
8.12.1000km Hydrogen Coaches
8.13.SAFRA Businova Hydrogen
8.14.Wrightbus StreetDeck Hydroliner
8.15.ADL Enviro400 FCEV
8.16.United Fuel Cell System R&D (Beijing) Co.
8.17.Toyota SORA Fuel Cell Bus
8.18.Structure of Toyota fuel cell bus
8.19.Hyundai ELEC CITY Fuel Cell Bus
8.20.Iveco Fuel Cell Buses (Hyundai fuel cells)
8.21.New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE H2
8.22.ElDorado National AXESS Fuel Cell Bus
8.23.ElDorado National AXESS Schematic
8.24.Van Hool
8.25.Green H2 for FCEBs to be 'Green'
8.26.System Efficiency Between BEVs and FCEVs
8.27.FCEB H2 Consumption Benchmarking
9.1.End of PHEV Buses
9.2.A New Lease of Life For the Combustion Engine?
9.3.H2-ICE Player Landscape
9.4.H2-ICE Efficiency vs FCEV
9.5.Hydrogen Combustion Engine, ZEV (Zero-emission Vehicle) or Not?
9.6.IDTechEx's View on Hydrogen ICE
10.1.1.FCEB and BEB Are the Main Options
10.1.2.Battery Electric Buses and Fuel Cell Electric Buses: Rival or Complementary?
10.2.TCO Analysis - CAPEX & OPEX
10.2.1.Purchase Costs - FCEB
10.2.2.Volume Production to Decrease FCEV Cost
10.2.3.US Fuel Cell Buses: Price 2010-2023
10.2.4.US Buses: Capex Cost 2015-2023 by Drivetrain
10.2.5.Purchase Costs - BEB
10.2.6.Comparison of Operational Costs
10.2.7.Total Costs of Ownership Comparison
10.2.8.BEV vs FCEV Running Costs and Efficiency
10.2.9.Real World Efficiency Data Comparisons - Tyrol, Italy
10.2.10.Can BEV and FCEV Coexist?
10.2.11.Infrastructure Costs for BEBs vs FCEBs
10.2.12.Comparison Hydrogen Fuel Cost vs Diesel Cost
10.3.Range and Route Suitability
10.3.1.Will Battery Improvements make Fuel Cell Buses Obsolete? - (1)
10.3.2.Will Battery Improvements make Fuel Cell Buses Obsolete? - (2)
10.3.3.Will Battery Improvements make Fuel Cell Buses Obsolete? - (3)
10.3.4.Will Battery Improvements make Fuel Cell Buses Obsolete? -(4)
10.3.5.Will Battery Improvements make Fuel Cell Buses Obsolete? - (5)
10.3.6.NREL Fuel Cell Bus Evaluations 2023 - (1)
10.3.7.NREL Fuel Cell Bus Evaluations 2023 - (2)
10.3.8.NREL Fuel Cell Bus Long-Term Stack Performance Data
10.3.9.Example Analysis: Foothill Transit
10.3.10.Delivering the Required Duty Milage
11.1.Forecast Commentary - Regional
11.2.Electric Bus Sales Forecast to Regionally Diversify by 2045
11.3.Electric Bus Sales Historic & Forecast By Region - 2015-2045
11.4.Forecast Commentary - Drivetrain
11.5.Electric Bus Sales by Drivetrain 2015-2045
11.6.Electric Bus Battery Demand (GWh) 2024-2045
11.7.Electric Bus Market Value 2024-2045

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Slides 272
Forecasts to 2045
Published May 2024
ISBN 9781835700402

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