Class 8 Natural Gas Truck Retail Sales Down 23% YTD in November

U.S. and Canadian Natural Gas Class 8 truck retail sales declined compared to 2017, likely due in part to the narrow fuel price spread between diesel and natural gas.

ACT Research

U.S. and Canadian Natural Gas Class 8 truck retail sales rose 13% in 2017, but shed 23% year-to-date through November 2018, according to a recent quarterly report (Alternative Fuels Quarterly) released by ACT Research. Year-to-date sales at this point in 2017 were up 9%. “On a nominal basis, natural gas retail sales are down about 700 units for the first 11 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.” 

Vieth adds, “With the narrowed fuel price spread between diesel and natural gas, it really isn’t surprising that sales of natural gas units softened. That said, it is important to remember that the conversion of a fleet from diesel to natural gas doesn’t rest entirely on the savings of fuel. Natural gas offers more consistent fuel pricing and is one way fleets can meet more stringent environmental requirements, particularly where renewable natural gas is available.”

He continues, “Transportation power is no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition. All viable commercial vehicle power alternatives, from diesel and natural gas to electric of all kinds, must now be considered to accurately measure potential cost savings, while meeting future emissions.”