Fuel Smarts

Worldwide Annual Electric Truck Sales May Reach 332,000 by 2026

January 03, 2017

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Photo of Frito-Lay electric truck charging at Clipper Creek charging station, courtesy of Clipper Creek
Photo of Frito-Lay electric truck charging at Clipper Creek charging station, courtesy of Clipper Creek

A new report from Navigant Research forecasts sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks for each major world region, segmented by electrified powertrain type, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and hydrogen fuel cell, through 2026. 

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.

As local and national governments impose stricter emissions targets for commercial vehicles, they are also looking for ways to incentivize fleets to invest in medium and heavy-duty fuel efficiency technologies as well as cleaner-burning fuels, according to Navigant.

Though conventional diesel-powered vehicles are becoming cleaner and more efficient, 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.

“New and established suppliers are starting to offer alternative powertrains as well as complete electric vehicles for niche applications,” said David Alexander, senior research analyst for Navigant Research. “Limited daily range and a drive cycle featuring a lot of stopping and starting are applications that benefit most from electric drive capabilities, and delivery and refuse collection vehicles are expected to be the primary targets in the short term.”

Technology advances and production experience in the bus market can be transferred readily to trucks, and the growing demand for electric cars has stimulated investment in battery manufacture that has resulted in falling battery pack costs, according to the report. However, even with these positive factors, electric drive trucks are still expected to remain a niche market, at around 5% of sales in 2026.

The report, Electric Drive Trucks, 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.

An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

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