One-third of new fleet bus purchases will be electric by the year 2020, according to the CEO of Proterra Ryan Popple.
Along with that assertion, the Proterra exec has predicted that electric buses will account for half of all fleet bus purchases by 2025, and 100% of fleet bus purchases by 2030.
The comments were made by Popple during a conversation on Greentech Media‘s Energy Gang podcast, where he also noted that all-electric buses were already a better option than diesel and CNG (compressed natural gas) with regard to pricing. These comments were also made by Matt Horton, Proterra’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at the 2016 EV Summit in Cocoa, Florida, that we attended — video and article coming.
Green Car Reports provides more from the recent podcast conversation:
“That pricing advantage may translate into increased bus sales more quickly than it would for electric passenger cars, he suggests.
“That’s because buses are essentially commodity purchases, while passenger cars are consumer goods.
“So while individual consumers may base their purchasing decisions on many factors, a lower price may be enough for fleet operators to convert to electric vehicles en masse.”
That said, both electric buses used for fleets and consumer electric vehicles are likely to benefit substantially from expected lithium-ion battery cell cost decreases (over the next few years).
The point that Popple is making, though, is that as fleet electric bus purchases are more a matter of pure economics (not entirely so, but more so than consumer choices), that adoption could be more rapid than as with consumer electric vehicles.
Note that Ryan Popple was previously Senior Director of Finance at Tesla Motors, before and through Tesla’s IPO.