Indeed, government regulations, local emission reduction initiatives and subsidies are key drivers for the triumph of electric buses. Public transport systems are not only supposed to contribute to meeting the Paris Climate Agreement targets and reducing CO2 emissions – cities also want to reduce noise and improve air quality. China has demonstrated that financial incentives by the government can be a powerful tool. Electromobility – even if it affects public transport – is primarily about achieving a critical mass from which development becomes irreversible. With the European Green Deal and the pricing of CO2 emissions, the EU has paved the way for more sustainability. The EU also sees procurement for public transport as an effective tool and therefore defines quotas: With immediate effect, according to the Clean Vehicles Directive, contracting authorities shall order at least 45 percent of vehicles with clean drives when ordering new buses, half of which shall be emission-free – i.e. purely electric. From 2025, the share of clean drives is expected to increase to 65 percent of new purchases. "Clean" also refers to buses with a plug-in hybrid drive as well as buses that are mainly powered by hydrogen, natural gas, synthetic fuels or bio-fuels.
The industry service Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) is forecasting a huge global increase in electric buses for the next two decades. Subsequently, the share of battery-electric buses in public transport will increase to almost 70 percent by 2040. The procurement of electric buses is backed by massive investments in urban charging infrastructure.