Growing awareness of the need for better air quality is leading to stricter emissions targets for commercial vehicles in the near future. Local and national governments are also looking into ways to incentivize fleets to invest in medium- and heavy-duty fuel efficiency technologies, as well as alternative cleaner-burning fuels. Conventional diesel-powered vehicles are getting cleaner and more efficient through incremental improvements such as exhaust aftertreatment and advanced fuel injection systems. However, the added initial and operating costs associated with these changes are helping to reduce the incremental cost of moving to electric-assisted and all-electric powertrains.
Electric power is expected to begin to make inroads, as some fleet managers can see the potential for an attractive ROI given the right circumstances. They can also take advantage of government incentives and grants to support zero-emissions transportation options. However, the nature of the technology means that it only makes sense for fleet vehicles that can work with a limited daily range and ideally do a lot of stop-start driving. According to Navigant Research, global annual electrified powertrain medium- and heavy-duty truck sales are expected to grow from about 31,000 vehicles in 2016 to nearly 332,000 by 2026.
Navigant Research's report breaks the forecasts for the global truck market into medium-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks for each major world region. Both of these vehicle categories are assessed for potential sales of electrified powertrain types: hybrid (gasoline and diesel), plug-in hybrid (gasoline and diesel), battery electric, and hydrogen fuel cell. Global market forecasts for annual sales, segmented by region and powertrain type, extend through 2026.