China Electric Bus Market witnessing a CAGR of 15.9% during the forecast period according to P&S Intelligence

The Chinese electric bus market is projected to reach 299,866 units by 2025, witnessing a CAGR of 15.9% during the forecast period according to P&S Intelligence, the growth of the market is majorly driven by increasing government support for electric vehicles and falling battery prices.

Insights into market segments

The Chinese electric bus market is segmented on the basis of hybrid powertrain, which includes parallel hybrid, series parallel hybrid, and series hybrid. Among these, the parallel hybrid category held more than 40% share in the Chinese electric bus market in 2017. However, the fastest growth during the forecast period is expected from the series hybrid category, due to the ease in designing and assembling this type of powertrain, which reduces the overall cost of electric bus.

On the basis of battery, the Chinese electric bus market is segmented into lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) and Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) batteries. Among these, the LFP category accounted for more than three-fourth of the total electric bus sales in the country in 2017. However, the NMC battery category is expected to witness a faster growth during the forecast period, with the inclusion of NMC batteries in subsidy schemes (from January 2017) coupled with better characteristics such as lower self-charge and higher energy density of it when compared to LFP.

As battery accounts for significant share of electric bus manufacturing cost, declining Li-ion battery prices would help bus companies to keep prices under check. Moreover, increasing battery production capacity would further lower battery prices in China during the forecast period. Similar to the case of internal combustion engine, whose costs fell with decades of experience, the electric vehicle’s cost too, would continue to fall during the forecast period, with industry experience, operational efficiencies, and economies of scale; thus, driving the Chinese electric bus market during the forecast period.

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Government ‘push’ driving the market

The Chinese electric bus market is highly dependent on the government, which accounted for more than 65% sales in 2017. Buses in the government sector are used for public transport, transit services, military, and other purposes. Most of the decisions of purchasing electric buses are made at the central or state government level, by politicians and other government employees. The reduction in electric vehicle subsidy would have a limited impact on the sales of electric buses as the government sector is less cost sensitive compared to the private sector. Moreover, the Chinese government has a strong commitment to increase the share of electric buses in the transportation system of the country.

Furthermore, the penetration of electric buses would be much faster than other electric vehicles such as cars, as persuading hundreds of bus fleet operators to choose new technology is a much simpler task for the government, than to convince millions of car buyers to do the same. It is expected that majority of conventional buses plying in China would be replaced by electric ones in the long run, thereby driving the Chinese electric bus market during the forecast period.

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Competitive Landscape

Similar to the conventional bus market, domestic players account for most of the sales in the Chinese electric bus market. Important players in the market include Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co. Ltd., Higer Bus Company Limited, BYD Company Limited, Zhongtong Bus & Holding Co. Ltd., Dongfeng Motor Corporation, King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd, and Anhui Ankai Automobile Co. Ltd.

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