Accessibility

Alternative fuel use gaining traction in transit bus sector

Posted on May 12, 2011

Alternative fuels are gaining significant traction in the transit bus sector, which has long been an important early adopter market for low-emissions drive trains, according to a new study. Several different fuels are typically used in such buses, including hybrid-electric; natural gas, in either liquid or compressed form; and hydrogen fuel cells.

According to a recent report from Pike Research, the trend toward cleaner transit buses will continue over the next several years, and by 2015, the  firm forecasts that alternative-fuel vehicles will represent more than 50 percent of the 64,000 total transit buses that will be delivered worldwide during that year, up from 28 percent of total bus deliveries in 2010.

“Transit bus fleets are an important area of focus within the broader effort to reduce emissions from mass transit in urban areas,” says Senior Analyst Dave Hurst. “Of the various options available for making mass transit cleaner, buses are the easiest to implement because changes can be completed without significant new or upgraded infrastructure. While diesel buses will certainly continue to enjoy a long life, alternative fuel vehicles will soon represent the majority of new bus deliveries.”

Hurst adds that hybrid-electric transit buses have the smallest impact on infrastructure since they typically utilize diesel fuel, but are more expensive than natural gas buses. Natural gas buses are less expensive than hybrids, but require refueling stations. While in some parts of the U.S., gas companies will install a refueling station essentially for free, the single refueling point may mean limited range of use for the vehicles.

Hydrogen fuel-cell buses have a similar limitation because they require a hydrogen refueling point. However, because these buses are often set up as demonstration or prototype fuel-cell vehicles, they are located in areas where the fueling is currently available or funding for these projects includes a provision for refueling. The number of fuel-cell buses in the world, while growing, remains very small in comparison to other alternative fuels, according to the study.

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the highest penetration regions for alternative-fuel buses will be North America and Asia Pacific, each of which will boast adoption rates of more than 60 percent of new buses delivered within the next five years. This is especially significant since the two regions together will represent nearly 70 percent of all new bus deliveries during that timeframe. Adoption of alternative-fuel buses in Europe will be quite a bit lower, representing less than one-third of total deliveries.

Pike Research’s study, “Clean Mass Transit,” examines the opportunities and challenges within the mass transit vehicle market. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of mass transit vehicles, including diesel technology, hybrid battery technology, rail electrification, regenerative braking, government emissions regulations, emerging markets and key drivers of market growth.

The report includes forecasts through 2016 for transit buses, alternative-fuel buses, bus rapid transit, light rail, rapid transit and commuter rail by world region. Key market players are also profiled. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

 METRO Extra: To find out how fleets across the country are implementing alternative fuels, click here to read a recent article by Managing Editor Alex Roman.

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

GRTC, reservation network co. partner for on-demand paratransit service

Customer benefits include direct, non-stop service; requesting a trip for same-day service; and flexibility to schedule a reservation up to 30 days in advance.

MBTA testing new tech to help blind find bus stops

The agency will install Bluetooth beacons on bus stop signs that can communicate via a smartphone app to tell users how close they are to the stop.

NY MTA adding mobile app to simplify paratransit travel

The upgrade comes amid a growing outcry from people with disabilities that they are being underserved.

BraunAbility's Q-Series wheelchair lift wins design award

The new lift combines an eye-catching curved design language with innovative use of geometry, resulting not only in a 10% weight reduction over its predecessor, but also a 300% improvement in rigidity.

Profile: Donna Smith, Sr. Director, Easter Seals Project Action Consulting

Donna Smith was 18 months old when doctors detected retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer, and removed her right eye. For the next 18 months, her mother took her on zoo trips and drilled her on all the colors before doctors took out her left eye, too.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close