Despite government support, such as funding under the United States’ economic stimulus efforts, the market for hybrid and electric trucks has struggled to expand beyond a narrow niche. Nevertheless, a significant number of players continue to develop hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and battery electric vehicle (BEV) trucks for a variety of applications, and the market is expected to pick up steam in the coming years. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, worldwide sales of hybrid and electric trucks for the commercial market will reach nearly 105,000 by 2020.
“The fleet market tends to be quite conservative, as fleet managers thoroughly examine new technologies prior to adoption,” says Lisa Jerram, Senior Research Analyst with Navigant Research. “The key to market sustainability will be to focus only on those applications that provide the greatest payback or other ancillary benefits, and to ensure that the technology is sufficiently reliable for the fleet market.”
Each of the technologies covered by the report is applicable to a specific combination of vehicle size and use. HEV trucks are being developed largely for medium-duty trucks for applications that involve a lot of stop-and-go driving and significant annual mileage, while PHEVs are most suitable for trucks that follow relatively short daily routes, where there is a benefit to having the vehicle battery provide power onsite to avoid engine idling. BEVs are being developed mainly for medium-duty trucks, as the batteries are not well suited for very large truck applications.
The report, “Hybrid and Electric Trucks,” analyzes the global market for hybrid electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and battery electric vehicle trucks. The report provides an analysis of the market issues associated with the light-duty (Class 2 equivalent), medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicle segments for these technologies, as well as government policies and regulations affecting the market. Global market forecasts, broken out by vehicle segment, drivetrain and region, extend through 2020. The report also examines the different types of end uses for each technology, elements of the hybrid and electric drive system, competing technologies, and the key players in the market.