Chinese automakers seek to lead global electric bus market

The great scale of the electric bus market has attracted numerous automakers to enter, particularly the emerging enterprises, according to the 25th World Electric Vehicles Symposium and Exposition Symposium and Exhibition held in Shenzhen.

Industrial insiders said the annual new bus demand in China’s domestic bus market stands at 400,000 units. If all of these are electric buses, the annual sales of electric buses will top 60 billion yuan. Domestic automakers are all seeking to carve out a share of the huge market.

During the conference, various well-known auto brands from around the world launched their upgraded electric buses to attract consumers. It is known that the global electric vehicle conference that was last held in China 11 years ago attracted attention of many media agencies.

"As electric vehicles do not use motors, the electric vehicle market is the only market segment where Chinese enterprises have opportunities to lead across the world," said Chen Qingquan, academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, chairman of the World Electric Vehicle Association and president of the international guiding committee of the conference.

The opportunities include the research and development of electric buses. Chen said that there are currently 75 million vehicles in service in China. Of them, 400,000 are buses with an average service life of eight years, so the annual new bus demand will reach 50,000 units. According to the new-energy vehicle development plan of the conference host city Shenzhen, the city plans to put a variety of a total of 34,000 electric vehicles into service by 2012, including 4,000 buses that are expected to form China’s largest electric vehicle fleet.

An officer from Wuzhoulong Electric Vehicle Center said that 16 units of the 7.5-meter-long electric feeder buses will be put into operation in three bus routes of Shenzhen Bus Group in November, forming China’s first electric bus-only lane. BYD Sales Company Vice President Wang Jianjun said the company will make more investments in the electric bus sector than in the electric car sector in the future.