In 2019, the sales figures for electric buses in the EU have more than doubled compared to 2018. At the same time, sales figures for diesel buses fell in most major European markets. This is shown by the 2019 registration figures for buses over 3.5 tonnes, published by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), broken down by type of drive.
According to ACEA, the segment of electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECV) showed by far the highest growth in the past year. In addition to battery electric vehicles, ECVs also include those with fuel cell drives and plug-in hybrids. The registration figures for new electric buses in the EU rose by 170.5 percent from 594 units in 2018 to 1,607 buses in 2019, giving ECV buses a 4.0 percent share of total bus sales in the EU. The largest sales market for these vehicles was the Netherlands with 381 electric buses, followed by France with 285 units and Germany with 187 new registrations. These three countries together accounted for more than half of the electric buses sold last year.
In the same period, EU demand for diesel buses fell by 3.1 percent to 34,123 units. Four of the five major EU markets recorded double-digit losses in the diesel segment: Spain (-13.8 percent), the UK (-12.0 percent), Italy (-11.8 percent) and Germany (-10.1 percent). France alone recorded modest growth (+2.4 percent) in new registrations of diesel buses. In the EU as a whole, only eight petrol buses were sold in 2019.
In addition to electrically rechargeable buses, the registration figures for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) also developed positively. In 2019, new registrations of hybrid buses in the European Union increased by 59.7 percent compared to the previous year. This corresponds to 1,918 registered vehicles and a market share of 4.8 percent. Almost all registrations were concentrated in six countries: Germany (454 units), Spain (427), Belgium (371), Italy (255), France (210) and the Netherlands (125). There were no registrations of hybrid buses in 13 EU countries.
The proportion of buses running on alternative fuels among all new buses registered in the EU last year was 6.2 percent. This corresponds to an increase of 67.9 percent to 2,504 vehicles – almost all of them running on natural gas. France (585 units), Spain (463), Italy (303) and Sweden (284) were the largest EU markets for natural gas buses, with the latter also recording the highest percentage increase in the entire region (+283.8 percent).
In total, 85.0 percent of newly registered buses over 3.5 tons in the European Union last year were diesel buses. All vehicles with alternative drive systems together accounted for 15.0 percent of the EU bus market, with electrically rechargeable vehicles accounting for 4.0 percent of all new bus registrations.