More than 50 percent of the 64,000 new transit buses expected to arrive on roadways worldwide by 2015 will be fueled by alternative sources of energy, compared with 28 percent of new bus deliveries in 2010,
according to a report by U.S.-based Pike Research. The most significant growth will occur in North America and Asia, where more than 60 percent of all new buses will be powered with alternative fuels within five years. “Of the various options available for making mass transit cleaner, buses are the easiest to implement because changes can be completed without significant new or upgraded infrastructure,” said Dave Hurst, a senior analyst at Pike. According to the report, hybrid electric buses will have the smallest impact on infrastructure since they usually use diesel fuel; while natural gas buses are less expensive, they require fueling stations. While the number of hydrogen fuel cell buses will continue to increase, their growth will be small compared with other alternative fuels because they require hydrogen refueling points.