According to a new report from Pike Research, the worldwide market for hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric medium- (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) trucks will grow at 92% in 2012, with total sales surpassing 19,000.
Going forward, Pike expects the market to experience a compound annual growth rate of 47.2% between 2011 and 2017, reaching 100,746 truck sales by the end of that period.
Driving sales of these vehicles will be fleet owners’ desire to demonstrate that their vehicles are more environmentally friendly than competitors’ fleets and government emission regulations that have a bottom-line cost impact on fleet operators. At the same time, the accelerating spread of alternative fuel vehicles will pose significant competition for growth in hybrid and electric trucks, especially given the latter’s relatively high upfront costs.
Natural gas, in particular, is growing in heavy applications (such as transit buses and Class 8 trucks), where the high cost of hybrid and plug-in vehicles remains a significant hurdle. In 2012, this trend is likely to continue, particularly in European and developing Asian markets, Pike says.