ACT Research: Infrastructure investment, green initiatives good for CV demand

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The Biden administration’s focus includes prioritizing investment in new low-carbon technologies to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, improve the nation’s air quality and add good paying jobs in a growing economic segment. According to the recently released N.A. Commercial Vehicle On-Highway Engine OUTLOOK, published by ACT Research and Rhein Associates.

Additionally, the report notes that while the trucking industry might escape short-term focus, longer-term efforts, like infrastructure investment, will be good for truckers, particularly vocational trucks, and green initiatives will drive demand for zero-emission commercial vehicles.

[Related: ‘His administration’s lack of business experience will hurt trucking.’ Carrier survey shows concerns about Biden]

“The trucking industry has rebounded strongly, with spot freight rates at record highs and increased new truck order intake leading to strong industry outlooks for the medium and heavy-duty segments,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst.

“The year-long shift to more home deliveries because of COVID continues to influence the trucking industry, and these reduced-distance routes and increasing last mile deliveries are ideal candidates for alternative powertrain adoption,” Vieth says.

Andrew Wrobel, senior powertrain analyst, Rhein Associates, says, “In 2020, truck penetration peaked at just over 32 percent in a depressed Class 8 market. For smaller displacement engines, non-captive suppliers represented more than 90 percent market share. Captive engines account for almost 70 percent of Class 8 tractor applications, where engines over 14L continue to increase share, ending 2020 around 55 percent share.”

[Related: President Biden signs COVID-19 relief bill into law; CVSN webinar explains relief tax credits]

When asked about alternative fuels, Wrobel says, “Demand for natural gas-powered trucks has shown modest growth with further slow growth anticipated and, despite the current pandemic, electric vehicle product development and new introductions continue.” The NA On-Highway Engine OUTLOOK published by ACT and Rhein Associates highlights power-source activity for commercial vehicle GVWs 5-8, including five-year forecasts of engines volumes and product trends.        

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