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Navigant forecasts 29.3% CAGR growth for electric-drive and electric-assisted commercial vehicles to nearly 160K units in 2023

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%. 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.

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.

Electric power for commercial vehicles has always been a challenge because of the size of the battery packs required to store and deliver enough energy to drive heavy vehicles over practical distances, Navigant notes. Cost is not the sole issue; the size and weight can also significantly reduce the payload, which is a major concern for fleet operators.

Electric hybrid vehicles are now being used in commercial applications where the improved technology offers major benefits for specific drive cycles that involve city driving in stop-start traffic.

Plug-in vehicles are being developed for niche applications that can use onboard electrical energy to replace idling diesel engines or provide temporary power to buildings or tools at remote sites.

Low-emissions zones in cities are being introduced that will result in greater demand for vehicles that can be driven in electric-only mode.


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