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Pike Research Forecasts 300,000 Medium- and Heavy-Duty Hybrid Trucks and Buses Worldwide by 2015; 63% CAGR

World markets for HEV/PHEV/BEV medium- and heavy-duty trucks 2010–2015. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.

Pike Research forecasts that worldwide sales of medium- (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric trucks are will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63%, with sales of almost 300,000 vehicles during the period from 2010 to 2015.

While North America is currently the leading region for hybrid trucks, Asia Pacific will take the lead in 2011, driven by growth in both Japan and China, according to the report. Pike Research forecasts that the United States will remain the largest singular market for hybrid trucks and buses between now and 2015, followed closely by China.

Within the past couple of years, manufacturers have significantly increased their development of hybrid electric and hydraulic hybrid drivetrains for the medium- and heavy-duty truck segments. These hybrid vehicles promise a reduction in fuel consumption between 5% and 50% depending on design, which will help reduce costs and emissions, making hybrid trucks more and more attractive for fleet managers.

Fleet managers are actively seeking tools to insulate themselves from growing fuel costs and increasingly stringent emissions regulations but at the same time they do not want to compromise on vehicle requirements. Many new hybrid truck designs introduced in the next few years hold strong potential to strike a balance between efficiency, cost, and performance.

—Pike senior analyst Dave Hurst

Truck classifications
Trucks are classified based on the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of their chassis.
In the US, weights are separated into classes 1-8. Medium-duty (MD) trucks fall into classes 2b to 6 (8,501 to 26,000 pounds GVW), which roughly match the European weight classes N1 and N2.
Heavy-duty (HD) trucks are classes 7 and 8 (26,000 pounds or more) and European class N3.

Pike Research’s analysis further indicates that both hybrid and battery electric vehicles have good potential for the medium and heavy-duty truck classes. Fleets that need to cover expansive territory while carrying heavy-duty loads will likely adopt hybrid technology to help contain the costs of the battery. On the other hand, fleets that have a set delivery or commuter route will likely gravitate toward battery electric technology.

Within the heavy-duty truck market, the plug-in hybrid is not likely to see strong growth as BEV and HEV numbers grow, according to the report. Fleets that need to cover expansive territory while carrying HD loads will likely adopt HEV technology to help contain the costs of the battery. Fleets that have a set delivery or commuter route will likely gravitate toward BEV technology.

Pike Research anticipates that the HD plug-in hybrid truck market will grow to 2,213 vehicles globally in 2015, but this market will be dwarfed by the HEV HD truck market, which will see its numbers grow to 13,938 vehicles, and by BEV trucks, which will reach 4,354 vehicles in 2015. Worldwide, the market for hybrid and plug-in MD and HD vehicles is expected to grow to 103,940 vehicles by 2015.

Pike Research’s study, “Hybrid Trucks and Buses”, analyzes the opportunities and challenges in the market for hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. The report provides an examination of five types of hybrid and battery technologies, along with key drivers of demand from medium/heavy-duty truck fleet customers:

  • Hybrid electric
  • Plug-in hybrid electric
  • Battery electric
  • Mild electric power take-off (EPTO) hybrids (i.e., no electric traction, but all PTO equipment powered by battery)
  • Hydraulic hybrid

The report also explores global government regulations related to diesel emissions and hybrid purchase incentives.

It includes detailed forecasts through 2015 for commercial vehicle registrations, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric medium and heavy-duty trucks segmented by country and world region, as well as bus fleets for the United States. Key market players are also profiled.



This represents a fast penetration during the next 5 years. The following 5 years will see many more electrified commercial vehicles.

It may be the right time to start building more clean energy power generating plants.

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