Solid figures for plug-in electric bus sales in China have been somewhat hard to come by to date, leaving many to speculate blindly on the rapid growth that seems to be occurring in the sector there.
That has changed now, somewhat, as the EV Sales blog recently published some figures pertaining to the subject. It’s hard to know how accurate the figures are, especially when one considers the opaque nature of China’s plug-in electric industry and the accompanying fraud (see this), but they reportedly come from a report from a Chinese university.
If true, the growth is clearly impressive, with a huge jump in sales/registrations over the last few years (coinciding with a strong push towards the technology by authorities in the country) and especially in 2015.
Here are the figures and a chart we created to visualize them:
Here’s some accompanying information: “It’s hard to believe these staggering numbers, isn’t it? … assuming the numbers are real, it is even more outlandish the fact that BYD, that many believe to be the Master on Electric Buses, was actually only the Sixth Largest (5,631 units) plug-in bus maker in China, behind Yutong (15,369), Nanjing KL (9,012), Zhongtong (8,904), Suchao KL (7,115) and Dongfeng (5,761) and there are at least 15 Chinese electric bus makers, all having sold above 100 units in 2015.”
As noted above, though, it’s not clear exactly how accurate these numbers are. In the linked coverage, Jose Pontes notes that: “If anyone wishes to confirm or debate these arguments, please do so, as it would help a lot to have a better picture of what’s going on here.”
The Chinese numbers certainly dwarf those of the US plug-in electric bus sector. Though, things certainly are starting to pick up in the US, with BYD’s and Proterra’s orders, in particular, growing rapidly in the last few years.