ACT Research Releases Landmark Study on Commercial Electric Vehicles

ACT Research has released its landmark multi-client study, Commercial Vehicle Electrification: To Charge or Not To Charge, to the public after it was available only to charter subscribers.

Driven by a combination of advances in battery technology, environmental considerations and government policy and the potential for significant operational cost savings, commercial electric vehicles are seen to grow from a small beachhead today to a significant share of the Classes 4-8 market in the far years of the study horizon (2030 and 2035).

“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 and industry analysis for ACT. “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. 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.”

Regarding more distant time horizons, Meil commented, “As battery technology advances with chemistry and design upgrades, performance will improve, costs will drop, and a wider range of applications and duty cycles will open. We see shares reaching about 20% for medium duty and double-digits for Class 8 as a ‘most likely’ case by 2035. 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.”

The project began in the fourth quarter of 2017, with the final report initially released to charter subscribers in August 2018.

Other key deliverables from the study included:

  • Forecasts of unit sales and market shares annually to 2025 and for years 2030 and 2035 for the United States and Canada
  • Coverage of Classes 4-5, Classes 6-7 and Class 8 GVW categories
  • Detailed total cost of ownership, unit sales, and take-rate breakouts for seventeen market sub-segments
  • Extensive written analysis on key topics: batteries, electric utilities and support infrastructure, the regulatory environment and impacts, and total cost of ownership – battery power v. diesel
  • Forecasts by year from 2018 to 2025, then annual for 2030 and for 2035
  • Results summarized in PowerPoint slide deck (for full package purchasers only)
  • Detailed cost model (Excel spreadsheets) made available to clients, for both total transparency and to enable clients to run their own “what-if” scenario

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