Emerging trends and innovations for electric bus adoption—a comparative case study of contracting and financing of 22 cities in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - asia, place - europe, place - north america, place - south america, place - urban, infrastructure - fleet management, infrastructure - vehicle, economics - finance, technology - alternative fuels, organisation - contracting


Electric bus, Alternative funding mechanism, Urban finance, Grants, Risk mitigation, Contract, Electric vehicle


Electric buses have local environmental benefits, which has incentivized cities to transition their fleets from diesel to electric. However, the adoption of electric bus globally is geographically uneven and limited in scale. One issue is the high upfront cost of electric buses. However, few studies have analyzed the contracting and financing mechanisms that can help accelerate electric bus adoption. As part of the initial information collection process, the paper is based on real-world experiences and evidence, applies a comparative multi-case study to 22 cities in 14 countries. A framework is used for analysis, which includes identifying technical components that require investment, non-reimbursable funds and investment capital applied, and legal arrangements supporting the implementation. Results show that three key elements are seen in electric bus adoption across the globe, despite regional differences. First, both public and private grants, when dedicated to cleaning the fleet, appear as a strong factor underpinning existing clean bus systems. Second, less costly sources of financing, which may come from different stakeholders, can reduce financial risks, and it is where innovation can happen. Third, innovative ways of structuring contractual implementation effectively connect stakeholders and involve third-party players, which leads to shared risks, increased efficiency and improved performance.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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