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Electrifying Europe with Electric Buses: The Decarbonizing Future is Here
Published Date: 29 Sep 2022

Gone are the days when electrification in the automotive industry was just an idea. Today, the process to attain an electrified future in the sector has already begun with the advent of new electric vehicles, including buses. Having the pressure to decarbonize countries across Europe, close to 4 years to meeting the minimum requirements target, the region is already undergoing massive roll-outs of electric buses (e-buses) for public transportation. In fact, by the time it is 2030, Europe shall demonstrate an approximately 67% surge in the sales of zero-emission buses, which would reflect a fleet size of 65,000 e-buses. 

Electric Buses attain their propulsion & accessory systems by zero-emissions electricity from sources like batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, & overhead wires, among others, and are rechargeable. Observing the high emission levels and a critical need to curb these levels, the governments of different countries, particularly across Europe, are actively participating in the motive and laying out stringent emission limitations. These countries are encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles, including buses, to transit the mass population daily and mitigate the alarming emissions. 

Perhaps, it is one of the many reasons why a recent research report reveals that the Europe Electric Bus Market shall register a CAGR of around 16.66% during 2022-27. Let us continue reading and decipher the prominent aspects backing the potential of this industry and paving the way for players to explore the untapped opportunities awaiting. 

Prominent Driving Forces Behind the Rapid E-Bus Demand

Electric Buses allow drivers to accelerate more responsively & exercise exceptional driving experience & bus performance. Owing to their environment-friendly, lower maintenance, and fuel costs perks, the deployment of e-buses are mounting rapidly and showcasing widespread adoption & substantial encouragement by the governments of different countries across Europe as an alternative to conventional buses.

Besides, as public transportation through buses is somewhat a core of transportation in any country, it is also viewed as a starting point for the green transition. Battery Electric Buses are the most viable option to decarbonize public buses running predominantly across locations. In addition, the capabilities of these buses to store electricity on-board in the high capacity & utilize benefits to function as an electrical motor shall play a prominent role in bringing traction to e-buses and demonstrating a user inclination toward these buses.

Battery Electric Buses Taking Most Routes in Europe

Since Electric & Hydrogen are the two modes to attain zero-emission in powertrains, currently, electric sources are more practical to bring into practice as Hydrogen is relatively more expensive. London, the largest hub for bus fleet, is decarbonizing Europe, where 90% of routes will go battery electric using overnight charging. 

Besides, growing awareness about the benefits of batter-electric buses like zero-emission, quiet operation, & better acceleration than conventional buses, are further promoting the adoption of these buses across different countries in the region and promulgating the overall industry expansion, in line with attaining emission targets. 

Nonetheless, since these buses also eliminate infrastructure requirements for constant grid connection and allow route modifications without infrastructure changes, Battery based electric buses are gaining popularity and rapid adoption throughout Europe. 

Emission Targets Across Countries Favoring E-Buses 

Throughout Europe, countries like the UK, Germany, France, Poland, and the Netherlands, among others, are making substantial contributions to the e-bus industry, where fleet electrification has only begun. Such aspects hint toward the presence of substantial opportunities & potential for market expansion in the coming years, with the support from the governments and active participation of the prominent players. For instance:

  • Recently, VDL Bus & Coach began the construction of a new, climate-neutral factory in Roeselare, Belgium, for manufacturing the first e-bus. The facility is designed to manufacture only electrically powered buses in a climate-neutral & efficient manner.
  • In June 2022, another company, Van Hool, launched a new category of zero-emission public buses, the A-Series, at the European Mobility Expo hosted in Paris. This A-series of zero-emission buses is set to feature a battery-electric & fuel cell (hydrogen) powertrain in four different lengths (12m, 13m, 18m, and 24m). 

Further, the European Union (EU) launched Clean Vehicle Directive has set minimum requirements for purchasing new zero-emission public buses (electric + fuel cell electric) in different member states. In fact, more and more countries are adjoining same targets, showcasing that electric buses would be promoted & exemplify an upsurge in demand through the forecast years. For instance:

  • The Netherlands is mandating 100% sales of Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) public transport buses, aiming till 2025, alongside a 100% ZEV fleet by 2030 to replace all vehicles running on fossil fuels. 

Future of the Electric Bus Industry in Europe

Buckled with all the aspects cited above, we can come to a conclusion that the Electric Bus industry in Europe holds significant potential and hints toward the presence of lucrative opportunities for the automakers & other players. 

Their active participation and the massive support from the governments of different countries across Europe to address concerns over the air quality, and climate emergency, urging the European Commission to bring new urban buses with zero emission, shall further lead the market toward substantial growth in the coming years. 

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