Electric bus sales to US public transit companies nearly doubled in 2017

Posted: 29 January 2018 | | No comments yet

Analysis of the rapid growth in electric bus sales during 2017 and the current existing orders, predicts it is likely that the sales will continue rising throughout 2018…

Electric bus sales for US public transport nearly doubled in 2017

The number of fully electric, battery-driven buses sold to US public transit firms grew by a massive 83 per cent in 2017, according to figures from the EB START Electric Bus Index.

The total number of buses in service reached 333, and although market penetration remains low at about 0.5 per cent of the total US bus market, 9 per cent of all public transit agencies either have electric buses in service or on order. 

In 2017, electric bus sales represented over 2 per cent of new public transit bus sales in the US and the rise will definitely continue into 2018. Electric bus manufacturers have signed contractual orders with public transport agencies, generating a backlog that will take over a year to be built.

The backlog has grown by 44 per cent year to year and is currently at 514 buses, equal to slightly below 10 per cent of annual sales. This firm order backlog consists primarily of new contracts signed in 2017 and the deliveries will take place during 2018 and the following years.

​Within the US, the primary state consumer of electric buses is California whose transport authorities have agreed to 357 electric buses. These include purchased and ordered buses. Behind California is Indiana with 52 which is followed by Washington who has a total of 46 electric buses. However Washington’s authorities have committed to purchase over 135 vehicles by 2020.

Supplying the majority of electric buses are companies Proterra and BYD. To keep up with the increasing demand, both companies have tripled their manufacturing capacity.