Asia Minute: China’s Electric Bus Dominance

Jan 22, 2019

Credit LN9267 / Wikimedia Commons

Electric vehicles are growing in popularity, not only here in the islands, but also across the country. Last week, Colorado announced steps to increase the sale and availability of electric vehicles. But in the Asia Pacific, there’s a market that’s growing even faster — especially when it comes to buses.

There’s no question about where the center of the universe is when it comes to electric buses. Shenzhen, China has more than 16,000 buses in its city fleet . . . and not a single internal combustion engine – every one of them runs on electricity.

And now, it’s the same story with taxis — all of them in Shenzhen are electric vehicles.

New York has plans to electrify its entire bus fleet – and its target goal is the year 2040. Shanghai plans to achieve the same results by next year.

Chinese firms have used state support to build an industry producing electric buses.

The overwhelming majority of the world’s electric buses run in China . . . but they’re becoming more of an export product.

Last month, Chile took delivery of a hundred of them.

The Wall Street Journal reports 750 electric buses made in China now run on American roads.

As for electric vehicles overall, China remains the world’s largest market — with strong government support.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies says China spent more than 48 billion dollars on subsidies for electric vehicles between 2009 and 2017. 

The Australian investment bank Macquarie expects this year will see much slower growth in electric vehicle sales — in part because many of those state subsidies are likely to be cut.