According to the recently released N.A. Commercial Vehicle On-Highway Engine OUTLOOK, published by ACT Research and Rhein Associates, economic indicators in recent months suggest the worst of the COVID impact is in the rearview mirror. The report also explained the impact regulations will play on future commercial vehicle engine/powertrain demand.
Kenny Vieth, President and Senior Analyst at ACT Research, notes, “With COVID-related shutdowns and supply chain disruptions still unraveling, a meaningful spike in cases could impact supply chains and by extension, new vehicle production – at least on a short-term basis.”
Andrew Wrobel, Senior Powertrain Analyst at Rhein Associates, comments, “While the Advanced Clean Truck Rule currently is pushing to all but eliminate the diesel engine in new trucks for at least 15 states by 2050, internal combustion engine efficiency improvements will continue to be important.”
When asked about alternative fuels, Wrobel comments, “The outlook for natural gas powered Class 8 vehicles shows limited growth from today’s low market share levels, and despite the current pandemic, electric vehicle product development and new introductions continue. That said, each alternative fuel has its place. Truck fleets remain the primary users of natural gas engines, with refuse the leading vocational application, while medium-duty applications are identified as a primary adopting group of electric commercial vehicles because of their urban applications, with limited daily mileage and most returning to base overnight for easier recharge. School buses are also good candidates for alternative fuels, from propane to natural gas to electric.”