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United States School Bus Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

United States School Bus Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • June 2021
  • 74 pages
  • ID: 6095514
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The United States School Bus Market was valued at USD 4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 5 billion in 2026 registering a CAGR of above 4% during the forecast period ( 2021-2026).

The out break of covid-19 hindered the growth of school bus market in united sates due to continuous lockdown and travel restrictions. Many schools were still closed in some parts of country to maintain safety of children as there is high risk of contact of virus to children. However, due to availability of COVID-19 vaccine and gradual opening of schools with social distancing guideliness helps market to have steady growth.

Moreover, increasing government budget and growing adoption of electric buses in to the fleet to have significant impact on the market. For instance, The recent announcement of a proposal to increase the budget by around 41% is expected to drive the school bus market’s growth in the United States.

- In February 2021, Maryland approved the largest municipal order for electric school buses worth USD 169 million to lease 326 electric school buses. This is part of a plan to replace the 1,422 schoolbus fleet with electric school buses.

Moreover, growing sales of major manufacturers in the market to enhance adoption of buses in the region. For instance,

- School bus manufacturer Blue Birds registered an increase of 250% in sales of e-buses in 2020 and announced in October 2020 a strategy to increase production capacity up to 1,000 units annually. Nearly 50% of Blue Bird’s bus sales are non-diesel powered.

Key Market Trends
Potential Shift Towards Adoption of Electric Buses

In many developed and developing nations, school buses play an integral role in transporting students saving a considerable amount of money for parents and reducing traffic on the roads in a way. It is estimated that a school bus replaces around 36 cars on the road in developed nations like the United States.

More than 95% of the school buses in the country run on fossil fuels, especially diesel. Numerous studies worldwide have shown that inhaling diesel exhaust causes respiratory diseases and worsen existing conditions like asthma. These negative effects are pronounced especially in children who are the main commuters. Replacing all the school buses of only America itself with electric buses could avoid an average of 5.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Apart from the aforementioned factors, the country’s government is also pushing for the conversion of its school bus fleet to electric which is anticipated to propel the market in coming years. For instance,

- In April 2021, South Carolina announced that it will allocate a total of USD 24.54 million in the state’s second round of Volkswagen (VW) settlement funding for new school and transit buses. South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and South Carolina Department of Insurance (SCDOI) Director made the announcement to distribute VW funds for 235 new propane-fueled school buses for 11 school districts and three electric transit buses to be used in Charleston and Florence.
- In May 2020, the electric bus fleet in Washington completed 50MWh of wireless charging, and the bus featuring the wireless system ran a 14-hour scheduled route and maintained its battery charge above 90% the whole way through the journey. This local government announced it would soon adopt this technology in most of the areas in the city.

Rising Investments Anticipated to Boost the Growth of Market

The number of new school buses in the country has been increasing since 2012 (post-recession) and in 2019, there were 40,714 sales which is very high as compared to other countries in the region like Canada where 4,607 sales were registered in 2019. Most state governments in the US generally require their district schools to provide transportation to and from schools.

In order to meet growing requirements of the consumers major players in the market focusing to increase investments to develop new and innovative products. For instance,

- Daimler has invested USD 155 million in electric bus maker Proterra, with an aim of accelerating the development of electric commercial vehicles. The first product of this association between the two companies is an electric school bus from Daimler’s Thomas Built Bus division.
- In June 2019, Thomas Built Buses received full California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) certificates for its Type C electric bus, the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley which is powered by Proterra electric vehicle technology. According to the company this certification officially qualifies the bus model for state vouchers.

Companies are teaming up with technology companies to attain lower total cost of ownership by solution, such as V2G solution. For instance,

- In September 2020, Nuvve Corporation and Blue Bird Corporation announced the availability of Blue Bird’s Vision Type C and All-American Type D electric school buses enabled with Nuvve’s V2G technology.
- This charging solution fully complies with new V2G interconnection regulations and meets UL-1741-SA certification requirements specifically mandated for California V2G installations

Competitive Landscape
The United States school bus market is a higly consolidated market owing to presence of major school bus manufacturers in the country. Companies are introducing new features in their products to increase their market share. They are adopting mergers, expansions and colloboration agreements to strengthen their position in the market. For instance,

- In February 2021, IC Bus, a subsidiary of Navistar, and Kajeet SmartBus, expanded their partnership to provide a comprehensive wi-fi solution, empowering schools to enable student success through safe and reliable internet connectivity and transportation.
- In October 2020, Lion Electric partnered with ABB on charging equipment for electric vehicles. Lion Electric is expected offer ABB’s complete charging equipment product line. The line will be sold under Lion Electric’s new Lion Energy infrastructure specialty division, making the company a service partner for ABB.

Some of the major players in the market include Blue bird corporation, Daimler AG, Navistar Inc, Collins bus corporation and many more.

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