Indian E-Bus market takes off

August 25, 2022
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The recent ‘Electric Bus Global Market Report 2022’ stated that the global electric bus market is expected to grow from $26.68 billion in 2021 to $29.7 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3%. The electric bus market is expected to grow to $47.31 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 12.3%.

With an Indian context, it said, ‘in December 2021, the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), the policy think tank of the Government of India, launched e-Sawaari, India Electric Bus Coalition, in collaboration with Convergence Energy Service Limited (CESL) and the World Resources Institute, India (WRI India), and with the support of the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI)’ … going on to state that ‘Therefore, government initiatives will boost electric bus services which in turn is likely to drive the growth of the electric bus market going forward’.

But in the EV space, in India, E-Buses still have a long way to go.

According to JMK Research, in category-wise EV Sales in July 2022, share of E-Buses was just 0.26% compared to 57.16% of Electric Two-wheelers.

Till now, in India, the southern region has been the most prosperous for the companies in the Indian electric bus market because Hyderabad and Bengaluru were among the earliest cities in the country to use these automobiles. The first fleet of electric buses in the nation, 40 in total, was deployed in Telangana.

But now, the electric bus market will soon witness fast growth in the northern region also on account of the continuous efforts of regional state governments to electrify their public transportation fleets. The Delhi-National Capital Region constantly ranks among the most polluted in the country, which is why the need for cleaner transportation is strong here.

Around 2000 electric buses were sold in India in 2021 and expectation are this to double this year and triple next year.The overall bus market consists of 80 percent of private players and 20 percent of public transport

Major manufacturers in the Indian electric bus market are Ashok Leyland Limited, Solaris Bus & Coach S.A., JBM Auto Limited, Olectra Greentech Limited, Deccan Auto Limited, Tata Motors Limited, BYD Company Limited, Zhongtong Bus & Holding Company Limited, and Eicher Motors Limited.

Tata Motors has deployed the second-largest fleet of electric buses in the country (with about 715 buses, trailing 850 e-buses of Olectra Greentech), Hinduja Group flagship firm Ashok Leyland (and its subsidiary Switch Mobility) may be ahead in terms of the order book numbers.

EV Story takes a look at the recent happenings with some of the E-Bus manufacturers:

Olectra Greentech
Olectra Greentech is the largest manufacturer of electric buses in India, with a market share of around 40%. It has been making electric buses in partnership with BYD, China’s largest electric vehicle maker.

The Hyderabad-based firm has quietly made its shareholders rich over the past year. An investment of ₹10,000 in the company exactly 12 months ago is now worth ₹67,000, which is a handsome return regardless of any other factor.

In May 2022, Olectra Greentech said it has bagged the biggest ever order worth Rs 3,675 crore for supplying 2,100 electric buses from Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST).

BYD electric buses are being operated in over 10 cities in India, including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kerala, and even the route from Manali to Rohtang Pass, which makes BYD’s electric bus hit a new record by climbing high up to 3,980 m in the Himalayas after overcoming challenging road and temperature conditions.

With a mileage of over 24 million km in India, the BYD electric buses have helped reduce carbon emissions of 25,000 tonnes or equivalent to planting over 2 million trees, according to BYD.

Switch Mobility

In August, Switch Mobility, the EV Division of Ashok Leyland, has got an order book to deliver over 600 buses in India, and is optimistic to cross the 1,000 mark by end-2022. In terms of production, it is currently manufacturing the e-buses at Ashok Leland’s Ennore plant with a capacity to produce around 2,500 units in one shift, which can be doubled with the second shift.

It also secured an order of 200 electric double-decker buses in Mumbai and is looking at a dominant space in the electric double-decker segment, across key regions in the country

This month, the firm unveiled India’s first and unique electric double-decker air-conditioned bus - Switch EiV 22. Designed, developed and manufactured in India and utilising Switch’s global electric bus experience, Switch EiV 22 is equipped with the latest technology, ultra-modern design, highest safety and best-in-class comfort features. The renewed iconic double decker bus is designed to revolutionise public transportation in the country and will set new standards in the intra-city bus market.

Tata Motors

Tata Motors has received two major orders for electric buses in India, following an earlier purchase from the Delhi Transport Corporation. The West Bengal Transport Corporation and the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation expect a total of 2,000 electric buses.

Tata Motors’ 12-metre bus -- Tata Starbus offers space for 35 passengers. The electric motor has an output of 245 kW with a battery pack of “around 250 kWh”. Tata claims it was also “scalable according to range requirements”.

Arvind Kejriwal had recently flagged off 97 electric buses from Tata Motors, totaling the number of electric buses plying on Delhi roads to 250.

Tata Motors had also bagged the 5,450 e-bus tender floated by the Centre-backed Convergence Energy Services (CESL), it has assured orders for only 3,600 e-buses so far. This is because other companies like VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) have matched the price offered by Tata Motors which has led VECV winning the supply order in a couple of cities, thereby reducing the overall share of Tata Motors.

JBM Auto Limited
JBM Auto Limited is becoming a prominent player in the E-Bus sector, even receiving a prestigious order for supply of 200 Air Conditioned Fully Built Low Floor Electric Buses of 12 Meter Length for Delhi Transport Corporation under Govt. of India Flagship Fame II.

It Zero Emission Vehicles , currently deployed across various states in India under FAME I and FAME II, are world class examples in product innovation. Curated and highly localised in India, coupled with its manufacturing acumen, JBM provides holistic solutions in the EV segment that provide optimum total cost of ownership (TCO) to the customer. Having established a strong foothold in the Indian market, JBM is now expanding its footprint and taking its EV solutions across the world

In January this year, JBM Auto Limited announced the acquisition of 51% stake in JBM Green Energy Systems Private Limited and JBM EV Industries Private Limited through its subsidiary JBM Electric Vehicles Private Limited.

As per regulatory filing, JBM Green Energy is engaged in manufacturing complete lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicles, thereby working towards setting new benchmarks of localisation for manufacturing of electric vehicles as outlined in various government policy initiatives. With the same objective of enhancing indigenisation, JBM EV Industries manufactures key aggregates and auto systems for electric vehicles.

JBM Auto’s 100% electric buses ECOLIFE have been already operating in various states such as Karnataka, Gujarat, Delhi-NCR region, Maharashtra, Andaman & Nicobar, etc. Infact, the recent flag-off of JBM ECOLIFE electric buses in Karnataka marks the first ever rollout of electric buses in the state.

Deccan Auto Limited
Deccan auto limited is the first Telengana-based automotive company that manufactured buses, trucks, and other electric commercial cars and buses in India. It is situated on 20 acres, and the plant can produce up to 2998+ units per year.

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