Navigant Research: Global Sales Boom Predicted For Medium- & Heavy-Duty Electric-Drive Commercial Vehicles

MAR 8 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 11

Motive equipped electric garbage truck

Motive equipped electric garbage truck

“In a new report, Navigant Research forecasts that global sales of electric drive and electric-assisted medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles (MHDV, Classes 3 to 8) will grow from less than 16,000 in 2014 to nearly 160,000 in 2023, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.3%.”

How’s that for growth!

Navigant adds:

“Powertrain type included in the report are hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and battery electric. Onboard energy storage can be achieved via batteries, ultracapacitors, or a combination of both.”

“The medium and heavy duty vehicle (MHDV) market includes all highway-capable vehicles in excess of 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg) gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Navigant Research defines medium duty (MD) vehicles as between 10,000 lbs and 26,000 lbs (11,793 kg) and heavy duty (HD) vehicles as greater than 26,000 lbs.”

As for the predicted growth in various regions, Navigant states:

“Navigant sees the Asia Pacific region as likely to provide the majority of the volume, but also expects sales in both North America and Western Europe to be significant. However, Navigant also notes that global penetration will likely remain low, increasing from 0.4% in 2014 to 2.9% in 2023.”

“Navigant expects the Western European market to be the region with the greatest penetration of the technology in 2023, with 9.6% of new MHDVs expected to feature electric or electric-assisted drive.”

“Navigant expects the highest sales penetration rate for an individual country to be in Japan, with a forecast 21.2% in 2023. Globally, the diesel hybrid electric vehicle is expected to remain the most popular format for the whole of the forecast period, followed by battery-electric vehicles.”

And the biggest driving factors behind this growth will be battery advancements, low cost of operation and the introduction of more and more low-emissions zones in cities around the globe.

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11 Comments on "Navigant Research: Global Sales Boom Predicted For Medium- & Heavy-Duty Electric-Drive Commercial Vehicles"

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Large vehicles are where the economics are best, so I can easily believe in the prospects for rapid growth.

Me too I want to believe in those number.
But from which crystal ball do they come from?
These guys seems to know the future its nonsense.

Big Commercial vehicles = big saving going even part EV.

I have -never- read any estimate of compound growth rate in EV sales, for any sector, from any “research” company, which had any relation to what actually happened in that sector. Not even over such a short time as a couple of years. I’m not sure they even -try- to perform any real analysis; it seems more like they’re just trying to advertise certain stocks they want to sell (or short).

I can tell you from both professional and personal experience that truckers and other heavy duty vehicle drivers are the most conservative, and most resistant to change, group of people you will ever meet. They generally have no interest in replacing their trucks ahead of their useful life which can be measured in double digit years (off-road vehicles are especially bad, they’d rather use 50’s/60’s era tractors, equip, etc). You might get some fleet companies to buy into it, like how you see some Electric and NG UPS trucks, but I expect the trucking industry as a whole to be heavily resistant. It’d be easier (and probably cheaper) to expand and electrify freight rail.

Forgot to mention this, but as a case-in-point, every time CARB proposes new rules for trucks, the truckers will drive their trucks, blasting their horns in protest, around the Cal/EPA building in Sacramento. I’ve seen those board meetings run until 9 pm just to be able to hear all of the complaining. And that’s with limiting each witness to 3 minutes of testimony.

IIRC, the US has a lot of independent owners-truckers, but that’s rare elsewhere, where it’s mostly corporate fleets. If so, balance sheet economics could drive change sooner rather than later.

Perhaps, but it has been my observation, at least here in the US, that emotional resistance to change far outweighs balance sheet economics. Remember, the blame game rules the day here in the US. It’s more likely that high gas prices get blamed on anything from illegal immigrants to “socialist, liberal, fascist” energy policy to the climate change “hoax” to even gay marriage (yeah, that happens) before any kind of realization that there just isn’t enough oil left in the ground to keep trucking the way they’ve been trucking!

I’m wondering who is paying for these Research Results.

I haven’t heard of a bicycle being run on “Ultra Capacitors” let alone a large vehicle, certainly not for any competitive price. Where is the evidence?

This article had no corroborating details of why anything of what they are saying should actually transpire.

Unless they mean “9.6 % of vehicles would have electrically assisted drive”.

Don’t all vehicles have a broadly defined ‘electrically assisted drive’? If they mean a ‘mild hybrid’, where they have belt driven motor/genertor assist in accelerating the vehicle, and it just runs off basically the fan belt, as in the ‘mild hybrid’ malibu’s, etc, then I could believe it.

But then there is much less here than the big deal being made here.

Two comments:
1) I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of network effects across a wide variety of personal/commercial/industrial/leisure vehicle types and transportation modes… EVs driving battery (and to a lesser extent motor) costs down will make not just EV trucks, but electric lawnmowers, boats etc. cheaper; I also expect EV car mindshare and attitudes to percolate elsewhere, for example “if we mandate ZEVs in central london, they should also be required on vacation lakes”.

2) A.f.a. commercial applications, I wonder whether in some cases lack of noise might be an important factor… Silent residential garbage trucks (don’t know if that’s reeasonable, or the hydraulics used for compression are inherently noisy) would certainly be a win.

You got it. Until they put some insulation around those racket – making hydraulic pumps, don’t throw out your ear plugs.

One wonders why they didn’t quiet the darn things down for the past 50 years.