Bus Upon A Time

July 12, 2023

Data from Atlas Public Policy has shown the USA EV market is accelerating, as of June, 4m EVs are on the road. To put this into perspective, it took the USA 8 years to hit the 1m milestone, in 2018, then another 32 months to hit 2m, 15 months to hit 3m and now 10 months to hit 4m. This acceleration in adoption has been helped by policy tailwinds from the IRA and BIL. These tax credits along with price cuts, so far this year, have helped build momentum. Furthermore, the EV market as a whole has performed strongly in H1 23, as OEMs such as Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, GM, Rivian and BYD have reported (very) strong sales and delivery figures. We believe this will continue for the rest of the year and in America, we forecast even stronger EV growth and sales in the next 3 years. As certain USA policies kick in next year, which are targeting smaller fleet operators to help them electrify.

First Bus has announced it will end its night services in Glasgow due to (very) low passenger demand, at the end of this month. This service was reintroduced a year ago however it has had as little as 14 passengers an hour using the service. This segment of the business was resulting in, relatively, significant losses hence the company’s decision to terminate this service. Sadly, this will impact 11 routes that operate across the city in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings. This is a minor step backwards for the Scotland transport department, as there has been a particular focus on rejuvenating the (local) economy by ensuring there is access to good, reliable, and cheap transport. We believe this termination, highlights the issues with the local economy in Glasgow, as opposed to the (burgeoning) Scottish bus market as a whole.

The Price War rages on, as GM has announced it will be cutting its Cadillac Lyriq price by c14%, in China. The Lyriq will now be priced at $52,466, coming down from $69,784, as GM looks to retain some market share in China. Since launching last year, GM has only been able to sell 2,326 Lyriqs in the USA in H1 23 and according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, only 918 Lyriq EVs were sold in China Q1 this year. The Chinese EV market, is arguably, the most competitive with domestic OEMs excelling by offering better price points and features. Chinese brands are on track, for the first time ever, to have a market share of 50% or more. Thus, illustrating that Chinese consumers place greater emphasis on price points and EV features than on brand power and history.

Byton, a Chinese EV OEM, has filed for bankruptcy, although this is unfortunate news, it is not a shock. The company has been struggling since 2019 when a round of funding, led by FAW (a Chinese auto group) failed, then followed by a change in management, and a few months later Foxconn stopped its investment. Another backer, the investment arm of the Nanjing government, also pulled its funding soon after. Its M-Byte EV had impressive features, such as 72 kilowatt-hours (usable), which Byton claimed would offer a driving range of 250 miles, while the optional 95 kWh pack (also usable capacity) could offer a 323-mile driving range.

VW is restructuring some of its teams and divisions, so that the charging and energy divisions, work more closely and collaboratively. This strategic realignment has meant that Giovanni Palazzo is the new Head of Charging and Energy, with his focus being on expanding the VW fast-charging network and evolving VW’s (proprietary) smart energy platform. VW has a target of constructing over 43,000 fast-charging points in Europe, China, and North America by 2025.

Mercedes-Benz has reported, relatively, strong Q2 23 EV sales, as BEV sales rose 123% to 56,300 units, primarily driven by German and American markets. This growth was driven by the demand for EVs such as the EQA (+73%), EQB (+83%), and EQE Sedan (+157%). Consequently, BEVs account for 11% of the company’s overall sales YTD. This is not just a flash in the pan as in H1 23 global BEV sales reached 102,600 units, marking a 121% rise. Its market share in the USA has grown to 16% in H1 23 compared to 3% in H1 22. This illustrates the growth and robustness of the USA EV market.

Warrington Borough Council has signed Volvo Buses to deliver 105 electric buses so that the town can have an all-electric bus fleet by 2024. Part of this order will be funded by the £21.5m it received from the ZEBRA scheme, in 2021. This is a significant milestone, as this is one of the largest orders placed in the UK. EO Charging will supply the chargers, deploying 53 high-capacity 120kW chargers, which will be installed at Warrington’s new bus depot and is pencilled in to be delivered by Q2 2024. The progress made by towns such as Warrington should act as a catalyst for other towns, and we anticipate other regions in the UK to follow suit quickly. The UK Bus Market is a sub-sector that is quietly decarbonising, and we expect a massive ramp-up in UK EV buses and EV charging infrastructure this decade.


Knight-Swift, a USA-based truckload carrier, has closed its acquisition of US Xpress, a USA-based truckload carrier, for $808m. Consequently, US Xpress has been delisted from the NYSE, after a 5-year stint as a public company. Knight-Swift announced that post-acquisition it would have a truckload fleet of 25,000 tractors and 93,000 trailers.

RapidFlight, a USA-based unmanned aircraft manufacturing company, has announced its acquisition of Local Motors IP portfolio. Local Motors specialised in the advancement of additive manufacturing techniques and how to make it affordable and practical for deployment. The acquired IP will help strengthen RapidFlight’s techniques within 3D printing and other additive manufacturing techniques.

NEU Battery Materials, a Singapore-based lithium-ion battery recycling startup, has raised $3.7m in a Seed round, led by SGInnovate. The startup intends to use the capital to accelerate the deployment of its automated recycling line, which should result in lower operational manpower requirements.