A new report from Navigant Research predicts that the annual sales of electric buses will increase significantly between now and 2026. The market for medium and heavy-duty electric drive buses is growing quickly, with hybrid, plug-in hybrids, batteries, and hydrogen fuel cells becoming more prominent within the world’s urban areas. Navigant sees the number of electric buses on global steets will reach 181,000 by 2026, an increase from the 119,000 that are currently available. With battery technology becoming less expensive, electric buses are becoming a more favorable option for bus manufacturers.

Chinese electric vehicle developer BYD has launched in the US the industry’s first all-electric long-range electric garbage truck. BYD expects the trucks to save the typical fleet operator $10,000 a year in operating and fuel costs. The chassis and powertrain are warrantied for eight years and have a life expectancy of up to 15 years. The Class 6 truck uses a BYD chassis and battery-electric powertrain and has a 100 mile range. The 175-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack can be charged in as little as two hours. The chassis and electric powertrain are already in use in China on electric delivery trucks. The garbage trucks are expected to be in operation on US streets by mid-2017.

The US state of California is building a highway corridor of electric-vehicle fast charging stations spanning Northern California. The corridor will stretch from Monterey to Lake Tahoe, including 50 EV fast chargers to be installed at over 20 locations by March 2017. The goal is to increase the ease of long-distance EV travel along one of California’s most important travel arteries while studying EV use and driving patterns.

Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the US state of California are expected to pass the 250,000 unit milestone this month. Plug-in electric vehicles first started hitting the Californian market in 2010. California represents 40% of all EV sales in that country.

In a surprising move, Toyota has decided to enter the electric vehicle market.  The company announced the formation of a new in-house venture company, dedicated to the development of EVs. It will start operations next month. Reports suggest the first EV with a 186 mile range will be launched in 2020 and will share its platform with the new-generation Prius.  Until now, the Japanese automaker was a firm believer that the only way forward was the hydrogen fuel cell. The Toyota Mirai was part of Toyota’s ambition to bring hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars on public roads. However, the company now accepts that hydrogen-powered cars suffer from limited hydrogen infrastructure support. Hence, it has now decided to concentrate on EV as cheaper investment in future transportation alternatives to the internal combustion engine.

Japanese automaker Nissan has launched a new car powertrain called ‘e-Power’, which combines an electric motor with a petrol generator. The e-Power system borrows EV technology from the Nissan Leaf, but adds a small gasoline engine that supplies electric charge to the battery pack. The petrol engine never drives the wheels, it only charges the battery which then supplies the power to drive the vehicle. The e-Power does not have a plug of any kind: the petrol generator is the sole source of power for the vehicle’s electric drive. Nissan says the e-Power’s electric/combustion-engine combo represents a highly efficient use of petrol and compares to a hybrid for city driving.

The CEO of German automaker BMW, Harald Krueger, says his firm wants to sell 100,000 electric vehicles in 2017. This would represent a 66% increase from the company’s current EV sales. BMW’s goal is for plug-in electrics and hybrids to make up between 15% and 25% of its total sales by 2025.

Volkswagen confirmed the company expects to sell one million electric vehicles a year by 2025. Volkswagen also said it will no longer sell diesel vehicles in the US. The Volkswagen Group, which includes automakers Audi and Porsche, plans to introduce some 30 new electric models around the world by the end of the next decade.

The Canadian province of Quebec announced it plans to have 100,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020. To accomplish this EV buyers will have access to an $8,000 rebate along with a $1,000 subsidy towards installing an in-home charger.

BC Hydro has completed a pilot project to install 30 direct current (DC) fast charging electric car stations throughout the Canadian province of British Columbia. These fast charging stations can charge an EV’s battery to 80%in just 30 minutes. The stations connect drivers from the Lower Mainland to Merritt and Kamloops, up to Whistler, Vancouver Island and the Southern Interior. BC now has the largest public charging infrastructure network in Canada.

The Canadian city of Vancouver is committing $3 million to bring more electric vehicle charging stations to the city over the next five years. Unlike the 78 current charging stations in the city, the new ones will be fast charging and able to charge up to 80% of a vehicle’s battery capacity in 20 minutes. While the current chargers are free, the new chargers will cost 35 cents for every kilowatt hour of use. Vancouver currently has 1000 EVs but optimists expect this number to jump to 30,000 by 2020.  BC Hydro is forecasting 300,000 EVs in the province of British Columbia by 2030. In 2015, electric vehicles made up 2% of passenger vehicle sales in the province.

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