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Executive Summary 2.69 MB
Full Report 6.86 MB

Electric buses (e-buses) can help cities address air quality issues and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (along with a clean grid). The transition to e-buses, however, has been subject to growing pains as industries and governments alike struggle to nurture the nascent e-bus marketplace into maturity. This report identifies some of the largest and most common barriers to e-bus adoption. Cities must fully understand the barriers to electric bus adoption to act swiftly and decisively to surmount these obstacles.


  • World Resources Institute┬áconducted 16 comprehensive case studies, predominantly of cities in the global South, to identify a variety of technological, financial, and institutional barriers that policymakers face during different stages of electric bus (e-bus) adoption.
  • Key technological barriers are created by (1) the lack of relevant information for decision-making and (2) the current operational limitations of e-buses and charging infrastructure.
  • Key financial barriers emerge from (1) the difficulties agencies face in making the necessary changes to rigid procurement structures and (2) the lack of long-term, sustainable financing options.
  • Key institutional barriers stem from (1) the lack of political leadership and pragmatic public policy and (2) the lack of institutional authority, funding, and physical real estate.
  • By mapping key technological, financial, and institutional barriers from 16 case studies worldwide, the report provides cautionary tales to help officials anticipate the challenges they will face and plan accordingly to avoid costly mistakes.
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