Air pollution caused by vehicles has been emerging as a serious concern for governments across the globe.
New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/23/2016 -- The global transportation industry, which is highly dependent on petroleum-based fuels at present, is a major source of air pollution. As the population around the world continues to rise, GDPs improve, and disposable incomes rise, the demand for a variety of automobiles will also escalate at an alarming rate. While it is good news for the automobile industry, and a plethora of secondary industries facilitating it, it has started posing serious threat to the health of humans and that of the environment. The WHO states that air pollution claims the lives of over 100,000 people every year, solely in Europe. Air pollution is also known to reduce life expectancy of a healthy human by an average of a year.
Considering the seriousness of the issue, several governments across the globe are working towards the formulation of effective solutions for curbing global air pollution. Major countries across the globe are adopting electric vehicles at a swift pace in order to curb the mounting pollution levels. If the trend continues in a wide scale it can change the face of the global automobile industry in the long run. The global market for electric buses, the electric variants of buses used mostly for public transportation, is gaining an increased level of popularity these days.
Concerns over Pollution Control Drive Demand but High Costs Hinder Extensive Adoption
The most important driver of the global electric bus market is the rising concerns regarding the alarming amount of air pollution created by the transportation industry. Environmental and human-health related concerns stemming from this issue have prompted government and public bodies to promote cleaner sources of energy and modes of transportation. Though the trend is widespread in developed countries, developing countries such as China, having vowed to make deliberate efforts at pollution reduction, are taking concrete steps to move to cleaner modes of transportation with the introduction of electric buses.
The high cost of electric buses, and the finances required for developing a sustainable infrastructure for such vehicles, is a key restraint for the global electric buses market, especially in most developing and under-developed countries. However, unstable crude oil prices and the rising focus of transport agencies on minimizing overall operational costs are projected to make the impact of cost seem bleak in the long-run.
Major Automobile Companies Apprehensive about Entering Market
Competition is also rising at a fairly good pace in the global market for electric buses, which connotes healthy growth. In the past few years, companies have been seen introducing highly sophisticated, technology- and design-wise, variants of electric buses. Venture capitalists and government agencies are favorably investing in the market, in turn, favoring the overall development of the global electric bus market.
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Of the three major categories of electric buses available in the market – pure electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid, the demand for hybrid buses, which operates on a combination of conventional fuel and electric propulsion system, is currently the highest in the global market. With the interest of the public and government bodies in completely emission-free transportation on a continuous rise, the market for pure electric buses is also projected to flourish in the near future.
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The market for electric manufacturing is highly capital intensive. The market, being in its nascent stage, has not seen the entry of many large automotive companies. Funding from external investors and government are driving research and development activities in the market. Point in case is Proterra Inc., a manufacturer of electric buses based in the U.S. The company raised over US$120 mn from private equity funds since 2011. Venture capitalists such as General Motors Ventures LLC and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers have also invested over US$30 mn in the company.
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