As battery technology improves and other advantages become more apparent, Class 4-7 commercial electric vehicle sales could top 100,000 units by 2035, according to ACT Research.
Based on research from ACT’s study, Commercial Vehicle Electrification: To Charge or Not To Charge, the research firm expects that advances in battery technology coupled with government policy, environmental considerations, and increased potential for cost savings will eventually boost the electric truck market by a significant amount in the next two decades.
“We believe that electrification will offer a competitive solution for an increasing number of commercial vehicle segments as we look to the decade ahead and beyond,” said Jim Meil, principal, industry analysis for ACT. “In favorable case circumstances – such as oil and diesel prices escalating as they did in 2005, 2009 and 2011 – market take rates for CEVs could get to one-third or higher, depending on the segment.”
Electric vehicles could make up as much as 20% of the medium duty truck market and 10% in the Class 8 market. That’s a huge increase in adoption expected, as ACT’s own numbers for 2019 shows that electric trucks will only account for 2% and 1% of those markets respectively. Improvements in electric vehicle performance and drops in price are expected to open up a wider range of applications and duty cycles.
“Initial adoption will likely be in shorter-range hauls with frequent stops and starts, regular and predictable routes, and daily return-to-base for overnight charging types of operations,” said Meil. “Early adopters will tend to be in medium duty and highly specialized Class 8 applications that make the current limitations of battery storage technology more manageable.”