The share of fully electric buses is slowing down due to the corona crisis, according to an analysis by the ING Economics Department presented last week.
The share of electric buses is expected to rise to 22 percent in 2021, instead of 27 percent.
The influx of fully electric buses to public transport companies is delayed now that many concessions are being extended.
Due to working from home, distance education and the preference for personal transport, the numbers of travelers - and with it ticket revenues - for public transport companies have fallen sharply this year.
Public transport timetables will therefore be stripped down to an average of 10 percent next year to save costs.
Declining revenues make it more risky for public transport companies to tender for tenders.
In addition, expiring concessions will be extended instead of renewed, as is the case in the regions of IJssel-Vecht, Zaanstreek-Waterland and Arnhem-Nijmegen, ING writes.
All this leads to a postponement of investments, including in new electric buses.
This will ensure that the fleet will be less green in the next two years.
Because public transport must have an emission-free fleet by 2030, it remains important to continue to replace buses with clean electric buses, but ING points out that this will probably not be possible without public transport companies turning to local authorities for extra support.
Until mid-2021, so-called availability payments will still be available from the national government to cover the lost income due to the significant decline in travelers, but the uncertainty for the future is great for public transport companies.
The Netherlands is nevertheless a leader
The above does not alter the fact that the Netherlands is still at the forefront of electric public transport.
At the beginning of 2020, fully electric buses accounted for a 15 percent share of the fleet of some 5,300 buses.
The year is expected to close with a share of 22 percent, which is more than four times the European average.
According to ING, it will take "several years" before the passenger volume is up to par.
However, the number of orders for electric buses could take off by the end of 2022 as soon as the previously postponed new concessions take effect and new buses have to be deployed.
This can pose supply challenges for manufacturers after a quiet period, as a number of concessions take effect simultaneously.