From 2013 to 2020, Fleets Will Buy 350,000 Hybrid and Electric Trucks

FEB 8 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 16

According to Navigant Research, fleets will soon be buying hybrid and plug-in trucks in volume.

Boulder Electric Vehicle Trucks

Boulder Electric Vehicle Trucks

“While hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric drivetrains have successfully penetrated the light duty passenger vehicle market, the commercial truck market has proven to be more of a challenge. Government stimulus spending from 2008 to 2011 spurred R&D, production, and deployment of hybrid and plug-in commercial trucks, but demand has only recently begun to grow. According to a new report from Navigant Research, nearly 350,000 light, medium-, and heavy-duty hybrid and electric trucks will be sold in the global commercial fleet market from 2013 through 2020.”

There’s no break out for only plug-in trucks in this Navigant report, bus as we’ve seen, the plug-in route typically makes more sense in the commercial sector than does a conventional hybrid.

And then there’s this from Navigant, which seems to reinforce the idea that most of these purchases will be of trucks that do indeed lug in:

“In addition to expanded availability of lower priced vehicles, the keys to growth in this market, according to the report, will be rising prices for conventional fuels and added value to fleet operators from, for example, using vehicle batteries to provide onsite power and to eliminate engine idling.”

It’s all about operating costs when it comes to fleet usage.  So, as plug-in trucks become more affordable, the choice to switch from either gas, diesel or natural gas over to plug ins will be a no-brainer.

Source: Navigant

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16 Comments on "From 2013 to 2020, Fleets Will Buy 350,000 Hybrid and Electric Trucks"

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Can you please elaborate on “as we’ve seen, the plug-in route typically makes more sense in the commercial sector than does a conventional hybrid”?

I’d love to see EVs everywhere, but I feel a hybrid is still a positive step, and better than a conventional truck. My fear is that the idea of plug in trucks, is stopping development of hybrid trucks. While the Vtrux is interesting, it is triple the cost of a conventional truck, so I guess they are only purchased as trophies, not because they save money. The same holds for the electric Transit Connect.

My theory is that there must be a trade off, costing somewhere between a regular GM truck and a Vtrux, which is a hybrid, that gives good mileage, with a reasonable ROI.

It bothers me to see UPS and Fedex trucks all over the city, knowing they get less than 10mpg. With all their stops and starts, they should have gone hybrid now, duplicating the success of the Prius. But that has not happened. Does anybody know why?

I have seen hybrid buses and delivery vehicles – not a majority – but certainly have seen the numbers grow over the last few years here in the DC region.

It could just be poor assumptions. Look at the developers of hybrid powertrains – most of them, for whatever reason, didn’t push the technology beyond the initial products: GM insists that the Voltec only works for Volt-sized vehicles (bull$hit), but they did at least put mild hybrid tech in some of their larger vehicles; Ford, Toyota and Honda never bothered to put hybrid powertrains of any type in anything bigger than a mid-sized vehicle; the list goes on.

The automotive industry – from consumer to commercial – are stuck in a colossal rut…they do not think outside the box. Then the likes of Tesla and VIA show up, and then, even then, after the proof is in the pudding, the mainstream inertia is stupefying.

Scott … Thanks for the link to the calculator. I did not check in detail, but one thing jumped out immediately.

They base the calculation on 77 miles drive per day. They regular truck does that at 11mpg, so it burns 7 gallons a day, or $9094 per year. The Vtrux they assume will do 40 miles electric, then 37 miles on gasoline, every day. So far so good.

The next step is where they lose me. I assume since the Vtrux does half its mileage on gas, it would need about $4500 per year for gasoline. They only show $1630!!!

Do you know why?

When the Via trunk runs on gas it does not get 11 MPG.

When the via truck runs on gas it does not get 11 MPG

Scott … are you suggesting the Via truck gets 30mpg when it runs on gasoline?

Scott … Just to spell it out. If the Via truck runs 37 miles a day on $1630 of gas, it must be getting some amazing mileage. Please check the numbers carefully!

4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 Gen V tune to run as a generator. I bet at 55mph on the highway it is pretty impressive. Wonder if it has a hold mode like the Volt to use those miles on the highway. (BTW, I’m a Volt owner with 38K miles.)

Please post real data when you have it. In the interim, feel free to dream on.

If you do some homework, you’ll learn
– trucks that size do not get 55mpg on the highway (I think that is what you meant)
– when using gasoline, Volt gets lower gas mileage than the ICE car it was based on
– when using gasoline, Vtrux will get lower gas mileage than the ICE truck it was based on

Seriously? You mentioned 30mpg. The actual truck with that ICE gets 24mpg highway. 24 to 30 is much easier (%wise) than say 34 to 40. Running a ICE tuned as a generator is pretty efficient. I stated 55mph which is what I meant. Slower speed avoids high airdrag losses. You are comparing the Volt to the cruze. Now I understand your misguided and misinformed angle. Drivetrain/ice_tuning radically diff. You could not even bother to find the calculator on your own. I’m not doing everything for you.

Scott … well I guessed 30mpg, which is what I think will be needed to match their claim of $1630 for gas for the year.

On the other hand, they use 11mpg (and $9094) for the ICE truck, but you think 24mpg is better, which means the savings in the calculator vanish, and the truck becomes a trophy.

Again … please post real data when you have it. There is a lot of PR on Vtrux, but have you read a thorough road test?

When you write “misguided and misinformed”, is that how you see yourself?

ggpa, if your fleet truck operating costs are different (assuming you even operate one) you can adjust the defaults used by the calculator for many things such:
-as electricity cost
-gas cost
-conventional truck msrp, residual, finance terms
-MPG
-IDLE TIME
-Maintenance

There are explanations to some of the things you are asking about. For example, you didn’t understand the 11MPG. Read the Idle time section. If your idle time on your fleet trucks are less, you can adjust the settings accordingly. The ICE truck that gets 24mpg highway doesn’t get 24mpg at idle. It also doesn’t have comparable torque as the electric motors here, so chance are that truck may not be your fleet truck you would use in the calculator.

Nate

I am sure you are trying to help. I understand the calculator, I just do not believe it. They are going out of their way to understate the ICE performance, and overstate the Vtrux performance. Maybe the contrived scenario they describe can happen but it does not seem representative. I picked the simplest example where they use 11mpg for the ICE truck and 30mpg for Vtrux (on gasoline), which is wrong, and also different from the 20mpg they used in some of their other PR.

Vtrux has been working on this since 2009 or 2010, putting out PR, opening a large scale manufacturing facility, but I have not seen an independent review/test of their vehicles.

I trust you mean well, and so does Scott, but my request is that you both “check the numbers carefully”. If you google you will find other Vtrux sceptics like myself. I’d love to be proven wrong, but with real facts please.

And a last word to Scott … do not write “misguided and misinformed” to anybody. Really. It hurts you more that it hurts me.

FedEx and ups are bringing in hybrid/ev/cng trucks but these trucks have high time in use so if they replace 25% of the truck they buy per year with something greener 75% with conventional it might take 15 years to have the fleet at 25%.

I want to see trucks and large utilities with a voltec powertrain

Agreed 100%. That’s why someone with sense and vision at GM (sorry, had to stop laughing first before I could continue typing) should advocate buying VIA and putting their tech into everything full-sized: sedans, pickups, SUVs and commercial vehicles.