U.S. and Canadian Natural Gas Class 8 truck retail sales rose 13% in 2017, but shed 18% year-to-date through May 2018. Sales from January through May 2017 were down 14% from the first 5 months of the previous year. “As we can see from the year-to-date data in 2017, it isn’t unexpected that sales at this point in the year are subpar. On a nominal basis, natural gas retail sales are down an almost-neutral 7 units for the first 5 months of 2018 on a year-over-year basis,” says Ken Vieth, Senior Partner and GM at ACT Research. He continues, “Based on news released in the popular press, natural gas vehicle purchases continued to be dominated by refuse fleets, as well as transit and school bus operators.”
On the other side of the alternative fuels fence, electric vehicle technology continues to make strides as it further penetrates the various commercial vehicle applications, with selected Class 8 vehicles on the docket. Initial EV orders are coming from delivery, transit and some school bus applications. Vieth continues, “All viable commercial vehicle power alternatives must now be considered to accurately measure potential cost savings for fleets and overall emissions, as we look to the future.”
ACT’s 59th seminar is scheduled for August 20-22, 2018, and will feature discussions on new vehicle technology, emissions, and their impact on CV demand.