by Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg
Plodding down DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn is a bus moving under the power of an eerily quiet motor. It looks newer than most buses on the route, with a vivid digital display facing the driver and doors that part with a futuristic pneumatic swoosh. Commuters trundling aboard at rush hour don’t seem to realize this is one of the few electric buses—300 last year, to be exact—in America.
In China, an electric bus wouldn’t be unusual at all. Out of almost 425,000 e-buses worldwide at the end of last year, some 421,000 were in China. The global e-bus fleet grew about 32% in 2018, according to a BloombergNEF report released Wednesday, with the vast majority hitting the road in China. Europe had only 2,250 electric buses, by BNEF’s count.
China’s municipal e-bus fleet is projected to rise to more than 600,000 by 2025, according to BNEF, at a time when the U.S. is expected to have nearly 5,000. “There’s no industrial policy in the U.S. for e-buses,” said Nick Albanese, a New York-based analyst at BNEF. “So unless the U.S. manages to become a big exporter of e-buses, China will continue to stand apart.”
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