The New Deal Supporting New Energy Vehicles released by the State Council in early 2016 specifically instructs the next-step target towards high and mid-end development and adopts the policy of "substituting subsidies with rewards" for power batteries. The growth of low-end electric buseswhich made up the majority of sales last year will be suppressed; besides, both decreased amount of subsidy and enhanced supervision on subsidy process will cause impact on low-end electric bus market.
China produced 112,296 electric buses in 2015, a year-on-year surge of 315%; 30,058 units in January-May 2016, a year-on-year increase of 81.18%. The overall growth has slowed compared with 2015 mainly because the introduction of the New Deal has greatly stimulated the market, giving rise to market consumption in advance before subsidy cuts. A gradual decrement trend will last over the next few years and eventually return to rationality.
In 2015, 88,248 pure electric buses were produced, accounting for 78.52%. In January-May 2016, 22,105 units were produced, including 4,400 units from Zhongtong Bus& Holding Co., Ltd., which as the dark horse of the pure electric bus market saw market share rising from 9.28% in 2015 to 19.90% in 2016.
In 2015, 24,048 plug-in hybrid electric buses were produced, registering 21.4%. Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co., Ltd. with 6,348 units and 26.4% market share was far ahead. China has ended subsidies for ordinary hybrid electric buses since 2015, thus, most of the bus manufacturers have turned to production of plug-in hybrid electric buses.
In 2015, small buses and large buses made major contribution to the Chinese electric bus market. Among them, small buses with output of 53,034 units boasted the highest share of 47.23% since city bus, special bus and short-tour bus maintained a good momentum of growth. And with the diversification of riding demand, community minibus and customized bus will also be the markets for small bus. In the future, small electric bus will usher in high-speed growth.
In 2015, Xiamen King Long Motor Group Co., Ltd. (including its three wholly-owned subsidiaries, namely King Long United Automotive Industry (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., Nanjing Golden Dragon Bus Co., Ltd and Xiamen Golden Dragon Bus Co., Ltd.), Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co., Ltd., Zhongtong Bus &Holding Co., Ltd., BYD Company Limited and Dongfeng Motor Corporation as the top five electric bus manufacturers recorded total output of 50,357 units, accounting for 57.07%; the top ten manufacturers reported 59,956 units, making up 67.94%, indicating a high rate of market concentration.
Electric public transportation bus and tour bus will still be impetus for large bus growth in the future; medium bus growth is relatively weak; small bus is experiencing double-digit decreases in 2016 due to varying degrees of decline in subsidies for many models, the models not conforming to the requirements of national and local financial subsidies as well as intermingled manufacturing technologies, however, with growing demand from urban traffic and increasing density of battery energy, small bus and small electric bus will be the main driver of future growth.
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