Soaring diesel costs and an improving world economy should lead to a 92 percent increase in sales of hybrid and electric trucks in 2012, followed by a growth rate of over 47 percent through 2017, according to clean-tech market intelligence firm Pike Research. Pike’s new report, “Hybrid Medium and Heavy Duty Trucks” includes detailed forecasts, as well as descriptions of the various types of drivetrains, key market players and global government regulations.
According to Pike, government emissions standards, plus fleet operators’ desire to be seen as greener than their competitors, are the main factors driving the boom in fuel-saving transport. As Charged readers know, delivery companies around the world are steadily phasing in EVs. We believe it’s mainly a simple spreadsheet issue – for many fleet operators, cost savings on fuel and maintenance result in a payback period of only a few years. Pike notes one possible short circuit – vehicles that run on “alternative” fuels, especially natural gas, will pose heavy competition for EVs.
“The performance of specific economic sectors will play a big role in the growth of electric drivetrains for trucks,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst. “For example, as the retail industry rebounds, pick-up and delivery vehicle sales will rebound with it. This in turn will have a positive impact on the hybrid, plug-in, and battery electric truck markets, as well.”