Infrastructure Investment, Green Initiatives Good for Truckers and CV Demand

According to the recently released N.A. Commercial Vehicle On-Highway Engine OUTLOOK published by ACT Research and Rhein Associates, the Biden administration is prioritizing investment in new low carbon technologies to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, improve the nation’s air quality and add good paying jobs in a growing economic segment. Additionally, the report noted that while the trucking industry might escape short-term focus, longer-term efforts, like infrastructure investment, will be good for truckers, particularly vocational trucks, and green initiatives will drive demand for zero-emission commercial vehicles.

“The trucking industry has rebounded strongly, with spot freight rates at record highs and increased new truck order intake leading to strong industry outlooks for the medium and heavy-duty segments,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “The year-long shift to more home deliveries because of COVID continues to influence the trucking industry, and these reduced-distance routes and increasing last mile deliveries are ideal candidates for alternative powertrain adoption.”

“In 2020, truck penetration peaked at just over 32% in a depressed Class 8 market. For smaller displacement engines, non-captive suppliers represented more than 90% market share,” Andrew Wrobel, senior powertrain analyst at Rhein Associates, said. “Captive engines account for almost 70% of Class 8 tractor applications, where engines over 14L continue to increase share, ending 2020 around 55% share.”

When asked about alternative fuels, Wrobel said, “Demand for natural gas-powered trucks has shown modest growth, with further slow growth anticipated, and despite the current pandemic, electric vehicle product development and new introductions continue.”

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