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MHD vehicle market to nearly double by 2035

MHD vehicle market to nearly double by 2035

The number of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) in use worldwide will nearly double between 2014 and 2035, according to a new forecast report by Navigant Research. Navigant projects that annual MHDV sales will grow throughout the forecast period at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.4%.

Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs)—including battery-electric (BEVs), plug-in hybrid (PHEVs), propane autogas (PAGVs) and natural gas vehicles (NGVs)—will grow from 5.0% of the market in 2014 to 11.2% by 2035. A majority of these AFVs will be NGVs and PAGVs. Vehicles running primarily on hydrogen and electricity will make up less than 1% of all MHDVs in 2035, according to Navigant.

Sales of conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will grow more slowly than overall market at a CAGR of 1.9%, resulting in a decline in the share of MHDVs in use with conventional engines from 94.9% in 2014 to 87.1% in 2035. Of the alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), Navigant forecasts thate natural gas vehicles (NGVs), powered by either CNG or LNG, will replace the largest portion of ICE vehicles, growing from representing 2.7% of vehicles in use in 2014 to around 6.9% in 2035.

Propane autogas fueled vehicles (PAGVs) will grow from 2.2% of vehicles in use in 2014 to 3.4% in 2035, according to Navigant, while hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) will grow from 0.1% to 1.7% over the same period. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) together will add up to less than 1% of the MHDVs in use in 2035, according to the Navigant forecast.

While diesel will remain the primary fuel choice of MHDVs throughout the forecast period, its share will fall from more than 79% in 2014 to 76% in 2035. Gasoline vehicles are mainly found in the medium-duty segments; Navigant Research estimates gasoline-dependent MHDVs will go from representing 15.7% of MHDVs in use to 12.5% by 2035.

Background. Changes in the MDHV market are being driven by rising fuel costs and environmental concerns. Navigant Research projects that today more than 1.2 billion light, medium, and heavy duty vehicles are on roads. The MHDV segment, which includes highway-capable trucks and buses weighing over 10,000 lbs, accounts for less than 5% of all vehicles in use.

Though numerically the MHDV segment is a small portion of the vehicle parc, it consumes a far greater portion of the total fuel and energy consumed in the road transportation sector because of the low average fuel economy and high annual mileage typical of MHDVs.

The MHDV markets’ enormous dependency on oil and the implications of this on domestic energy security and climate change have pushed national and regional governments to examine policies and programs that will speed adoption of various fuel efficiency and alternative fuel technologies through infrastructure development and economic incentives.

Many governments have categorically supported a comprehensive strategy to reduce oil dependency in the transportation sector; however, the depth of that support varies with each vehicle technology. Regional fuel costs and infrastructure availability play a major role in commercial vehicle owners’ acceptance of alternative fuels, regardless of government intentions of changing the fuel mix. As such, the adoption of MHDV alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and fuel efficient technologies varies significantly from region to region.

The MHDV market includes all highway capable vehicles in excess of 10,000 lbs gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Navigant Research defines medium duty (MD) vehicles as between 10,000 lbs and 26,000 lbs and heavy duty (HD) vehicles as over 26,000 lbs. For the purposes of the report, Navigant Research defines each vehicle segment as:

  • Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs): Vehicles that generate all electric energy onboard the vehicle. HEVs include all varieties of hybrids (series, parallel, through-the-road, and mild) that use electric motors and combustion or spark-ignited engines for traction.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs): Vehicles that use energy stored from the grid but also have an ICE to extend the range of the vehicle. This definition encompasses extended range electric vehicles (EREVs) that use a gas or diesel generator exclusively or primarily to charge the vehicle battery.
  • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs): Vehicles that use energy from the grid or regenerative braking and do not have an ICE.
  • Natural gas vehicles (NGVs): Vehicles that use compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) exclusively or alongside gasoline or diesel in a dual-fuel system.
  • Propane autogas vehicles (PAGVs): Vehicles that use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exclusively or alongside gasoline or diesel in dual-fuel system.
  • Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs): Vehicles that use hydrogen exclusively as a fuel.
  • ICE vehicles: Vehicles powered by either gasoline or diesel with no secondary drivetrain, such as an electric motor.