The key drivers for the U.S. electric bus charging station market are favorable government schemes and regulations and the rising demand for electric buses. The market generated revenue of $20.9 million, in 2018, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 37.1% during 2019–2025 (forecast period) to $184.5 million in 2025. Alternatively termed charge points, electric recharging points, and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), such stations are used to charge battery electric buses (BEB) and plug-in hybrid electric buses (PHEV).
Based on product, the U.S. electric bus charging station market is classified into plug-in, inductive, and pantograph charging. Among these, plug-in stations held the largest value share, in 2018, because of their earlier adoption in the country. However, by 2025, pantograph charging is projected to become the highest revenue generating classification, as such stations charge the buses rather quickly, thus reducing the total journey time and helping transport operators maximize their revenue.
When segmented by charger, the market is bifurcated into off-board and on-board chargers, of which off-board was the dominating bifurcation during the historical period (2017–2018). This was due to the fact that such chargers help in reducing the weight of the vehicle, thereby resulting in faster charging. Such infrastructure is also favored due to its vehicle-to-grid reactive power capabilities, which is why it would continue being the larger category throughout the forecast period.
The growing installation of wireless charging infrastructure is the key trend in the U.S. electric bus charging station market currently. Through this system, the weight of the bus can be curbed further, as the electricity is transferred from the EVSE to the vehicle cordlessly. Further, these systems lead to an improvement in the electric bus efficiency as well as the driver’s experience. Owing to their increasing popularity, several advanced cordless EVSEs are being developed, which can charge the battery via inductive systems.
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The U.S. electric bus charging station market growth is a direct result of the favorable policies of various state governments in the country. Grants, tax rebates, and subsidies are being provided for the installation of charging infrastructure as well as procurement of buses. For instance, the Federal Transit Administration, under the U.S. Department of Transportation, announced grants of $85 million through the Low- or No-Emission Grant program, for alternative-fuel buses and EVSE deployment. Additionally, the federal government is also collaborating with charging station providers and bus manufacturers, in this regard.
The rising requirement for electric buses is automatically pushing the installation rate of the charging infrastructure. In the country, buses are used for public and military transport purposes, and most of the vehicles are purchased by the government at the federal and state levels, with city and county governments also stepping up efforts. For example, the city of Columbus, in Ohio, has decided to procure 200 electric buses and charging stations for public transit. Similarly, Louisville, in Kentucky, plans to increase the number of electric buses in its fleet to 15.
Another major growth driver for the U.S. electric bus charging station market is the fall in the prices and augmentation in the efficiency of batteries. The price of bulk battery orders reduced to around $333/kWh in 2018 from around $1,000/kWh in 2010. Batteries make up for up to 40% of the electric bus cost, therefore the falling battery prices allow automakers to decrease the purchase cost of the vehicles, which is further leading to their high adoption. This is having a direct positive effect on the installation of charging infrastructure across the country.
Therefore, with the federal, state, and municipal governments doing their bit to increase the share of electric buses in their fleet, the demand for EVSE would continue to grow in the U.S.
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