Class 8 Natural Gas Truck Sales Plunge, But Fleets Still Bullish On Benefits, Says Analyst

Little Rock, Arkansas – US and Canadian Natural Gas Class 8 truck retail sales rose 13% in 2017, but shed 23% year-to-date through November 2018, according to a recent quarterly report (AFQ: Alternative Fuels Quarterly) released by ACT Research.

Year-to-date sales at this point in 2017 were up 9%. “On a nominal basis, natural gas retail sales are down about 700 units for the first eleven months of 2018 on a year-over-year basis,” said Ken Vieth, Senior Partner and GM at ACT Research.

Vieth continued, “Based on news released in the popular press, natural gas vehicle purchases continued to be dominated by refuse fleets, as well as transit and school bus operators.”

 

Vieth added that he wasn’t surprised “sales of natural gas units softened” because of “the narrowed fuel price spread between diesel and natural gas.” However, Vieth said more and more fleets are seeing the benefits of natural gas trucks. “Natural gas offers more consistent fuel pricing and is one way fleets can meet more stringent environmental requirements, particularly where renewable natural gas is available,” he said.

Vieth said ACT Research anticipates fleets will continue to grow their fleets with natural gas trucks. “Transportation power is no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition. All viable commercial vehicle power alternatives, from diesel and natural gas to electric of all kinds, must now be considered to accurately measure potential cost savings, while meeting future emissions,” Vieth said.

(featured image courtesy of Mack)

 

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