Fuel types of new buses: electric 6.1%, hybrids 9.5%, diesel 72.9% market share in 2020

Brussels, 30 March 2021 – Overall in 2020, 72.9% of all new medium and heavy buses (over 3.5 tonnes) registered in the European Union ran on diesel, down almost 10 percentage points from 2019. At the same time, electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECV) made up 6.1% of total new bus registrations last year, and hybrid buses increased their market share from 5.7% in 2019 to 9.5%. All alternatively-powered vehicles (APV) combined represented more than a third of the total EU bus market in 2020.

Diesel and petrol buses

Last year, registrations of diesel-fuelled buses took the biggest hit from the coronavirus crisis, with sales falling by 27.1% to 20,458 units across the European Union1. Diesel held an EU-wide market share of 72.9% in 2020, down from 82.4% in 2019. Each of the four major EU markets recorded double-digit losses last year: Spain (-46.2%), Italy (-26.6%), France (-21.9%) and Germany (-15.9%). Over the same period, only six petrol buses were sold in the EU, all of them in Hungary.

Alternatively-powered vehicles (APV)

In 2020, registrations of new electrically-chargeable2 buses in the EU increased by 18.4% from 1,448 units in 2019 to 1,714 buses sold in 2020, representing a market share of 6.1%. With 446 electric buses sold last year, the Netherlands was the leading market for these vehicles, followed by Germany (388 units) and Poland (200 units). Together, these three countries accounted for more than 60% of total sales of electrically-chargeable buses across the EU.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), on the other hand, made up 9.5% of the EU bus market in 2020. Registrations of hybrid buses totalled 2,662 units last year, an increase of 36.0% compared to the year before. Germany accounted for roughly half of total sales with 1,243 units. By contrast, in 14 EU countries not a single hybrid electric bus was sold last year.

11.4% of all new buses sold in the European Union in 2020 ran on alternative fuels3, nearly all of them powered by natural gas. France (+71.3%), Sweden (+63.4%) and Spain (+13.4%) – the largest EU markets for these vehicles – all posted double-digit percentage increases in 2020. This contributed to an uplift in sales of 24.3% across the region, reaching a total of 3,206 buses registered last year.


1 Data for Bulgaria, Malta and Lithuania not available

2 Includes full battery electric vehicles, fuel-cell electric vehicles, extended-range vehicles and plug-in hybrids

3 Includes natural gas, LPG, biofuels and ethanol vehicles

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