ACT Research analysts indicate that refuse is the lead market segment in converting heavy-duty vehicles to natural gas. Photo: Mack Trucks

ACT Research analysts indicate that refuse is the lead market segment in converting heavy-duty vehicles to natural gasPhoto: Mack Trucks

An increase in heavy-duty natural gas use is being driven by the refuse industry, which has been adding new natural gas-powered trucks in significant volumes, according to ACT Research.

In its latest On-Highway Commercial Vehicle Engine Outlook, ACT Research analysts indicate that refuse is the lead market segment in converting heavy-duty vehicles to natural gas. The refuse industry is intent on furthering a progressive, green image, according to ACT.

Mega refuse hauler Waste Management operates more than 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks and has 100 refueling stations across the country, 25 of which offfer public access.

“They [WM] have established natural gas fueling stations, allowing for cost-effective overnight refueling and making refueling available to other natural gas users,” said Tom Rhein, president of Rhein Associates. “They are also strongly focused on using renewable natural gas to further reduce vehicle emissions by using landfill gas, a significant fuel savings.”

In the report, ACT analysts also see increased interest in electric vehicles by commercial fleets, with medium-duty applications likely to be the first to enter service. ACT noted trhat companies like Workhorse are offering a commercial chassis for walk-in type vans for package delivery companies.

“At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group announced plans to develop an electric-powered, medium-duty vehicle for launch in U.S. and Canada in 2019, using VW Group’s chargE concept,” said Rhein. “In November, Navistar announced an electric powertrain using the chargE concept for its IC school bus, also available in 2019.”

To read ACT Research's full report, go to ACTResearch.net

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