Report Projects Growth of Electric-Drive Buses
According to a recent report from Pike Research, the global market for electric-drive buses is expected to grow steadily over the next six years, with a compound annual growth rate of 26% from 2012 to 2018. By 2018, more than 75,000 of these units will be in service around the world.
The company, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, says electric drivetrains - whether coupled with hybrid, battery-electric or fuel-cell systems - offer efficiency gains, quieter operation and, in the case of battery-electric or fuel-cell buses, zero tailpipe emissions. However, all three options are currently more expensive than traditional diesel-powered buses or those that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). The higher cost associated with bus electrification is "threatening the large scale penetration of these technologies," according to Pike.
The report notes that lower fuel costs and other operating costs offer "real value," but a return on investment can be long to take shape. In turn, "public policy will continue to play a major role in driving adoption of these technologies, either through mandates, GHG emissions targets or direct subsidies."
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