Chatrou Consultants show emerging trends in European Bus market

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After a lifetime in the Bus & Coach business Wim Chatrou now runs his own consultancy firm, Chatrou CME Solutions. Begining his career with DAF Trucks in 1972 and moving to BOVA, he continued to work with VDL after the takeover of the former, until 2020. He now researches and publishes regular commentry on the European bus and coach markets. Here are some interesting obsevations about the move to alternative bus powertrains.

Some points to consider from the findings:

  • The registration data is coming from the official authorities in each country, such as RDC (RAI Data Center in The Netherlands) and KBA (Kraftfahrt Bundesambt in Germany), etc.
  • These registrations follow the deliveries of the manufacturers in each country. They don’t say anything on their orderboard or what they still have to deliver in 2021 or even later.
  • The countries included are the former Western-European countries and Poland. The level of detail of the registrations in these countries made these analyses possible. With the restricted information, available in other countries it was not possible to include them in these statistics, but I’m working now to find reliable sources in these countries as well.
Slide no. 1: Development alternative drivelines 2012-2020, Western-Europe + Poland GVW >8t

This slide shows the developments of hybrid, CNG, electric and fuel cell drivelines in the 9 years from 2012 upto and including 2020. The 2.062 electric buses (excl. trolley buses!), 2.733 hybrid buses, 2.636 CNG buses and 47 Fuel Cell buses add up to a total of 7.478 buses with an alternative driveline.

The volume of 2,062 electric city buses in 2020 is a 22.3% increase to the volume of 1,685 electric city buses in 2019. A volume of 13,140 city buses in 2020 is after the record year 2019 (with 14,403 city buses) still a very good number and only 8.8% lower.

What is remarkable as well is the growth, especially of CNG engines, in the Intercity and even the coach segment. Of the total of 2,636 CNG buses, 413 were in these segments.

When you take these out of the volumes of the city buses, the following comparison is possible:

This means that 53.7% of the city buses in 2020 had an alternative driveline. In 2019 this was 39.6%. This also means that the share of the 2,054 electric buses in 2020 was 15.6% of the city buses (coming from 11.6% in 2019).

Slide no. 2: Registrations of electric city buses in 2020, GVW >8t by manufacturer – total volume 2,062

This slide shows the electric buses that have been registered in 2020 in Western-Europe and Poland.

It is remarkable that 1,044 electric buses were registered in the first 9 months and a total of 1,018 (i.e. half) in Q4.

BYD and Solaris are market leaders with a total of 412 and 406 electric buses, followed by Volvo with 217 and Alexander Dennis/BYD with 190 electric buses. The 79 “others” include manufacturers such as Bluebus, Rampini, Sileo-Bozankaya, Karsan, Temsa and others.

About Wim Chatrou
  • Started career in 1972 at the age of 18 at DAF Trucks.
  • After 22 years: switch to BOVA which was taken over by VDL in 2003.
  • Started his consultancy company in 2009, but continued with the PR job for VDL until 2019.
  • Retired in 2020 but still continues with his “hobby”: studying the developments in the European bus & coach markets.


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