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Knowledge Brief

Large-scale bus electrification: The impact on business models

  • Global
  • Business administration
  • Electric bus
  • Electromobility
  • Funding and financing
  • Revenue management

The issue of funding and cost-efficiency has increasingly become a driving concern for project development, technology selection and deployment.

In recent years, there has been an explosion in the development, technology maturity and deployment in the electrification of mobility within cities, both in terms of individual and collective transport modes. UITP has been at the forefront, proactively steering and promoting the electrification of mobility.

The issue of funding and cost-efficiency has increasingly become a driving concern for project development, technology selection and deployment. This is an issue particularly for public administrations and transport operators, due to the sheer scale of such types of projects and short timeline, as cities strive to become carbon neutral. They require a coherence and consistency in policies, as well as availability of annual budget items for investment
and maintenance.

This Knowledge Brief outlines the impact of large-scale electrification trends on the sector and the effect on operators’ business models. The change is significant enough to alter funding models and financing tools and a city’s governance structure. It may also require revisions in the arrangements for operations as the shape of the network and the nature of its financing may change. Lastly, an overview will be provided of the main impacts on the business models. These include a forecast of both medium- and long-term impacts to operators’ management and a business model canvas.

The decarbonisation of our bus fleets is one of the main challenges ahead of our cities, requiring the participation of many stakeholders. In such upheaval, we should not forget ourselves and our companies. How it will impact us and where do we need to adapt. We hope this knowledge brief may provide some insights on some of those questions.
Ismael Uruen Pueyo
Director of Economic & Finance, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, and Leader of UITP’s Transforming Business Models Working Group
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