ACT Research seminar focuses on trucks, economy and EVs

During ACT Research’s 66th seminar, panelists addressed several issues affecting the trucking industry, including the economy, new truck shortages, electric vehicles and transportation.

Regarding inflation, Jim Meil, ACT principal and industry analyst, said, “While it still looks to be a solid year ahead for the economy and for trucking, inflation is a trouble spot. An array of factors converged last year in a ‘perfect storm’ for inflation, and they are not going away any time soon. Therefore, despite Fed attempts to reel it in, inflation is going to stick around in a way we have not seen in more than 30 years.”

ACT Vice President Steve Tam addressed the North American medium-duty truck market.

“Strong demand in the medium-duty market has been frustrated by the industry’s inability to deliver vehicles. Expectations are that gradual improvements in the supply-chain situation will lead to moderate growth in production and sales in 2022. Technological development, primarily electrification of light- and medium-duty commercial vehicles, is still in an embryonic state, but shows great potential.”

About the U.S. used market, Tam added, “Unprecedented demand led to record prices in 2021, and this is expected to continue in at least early 2022. As freight hauling capacity rebalances, freight rates will start to fall, pulling profits and used truck demand down with them.”

Addressing electrification, Ann Rundle, ACT vice president of electrification and autonomy, said, “The advances in technology for both BEV and FCEV will bring about some significant changes in our industry over the next 20 years. In 2021, over 70 percent of vehicle applications have a positive TCO [total cost of ownership] for BEV compared to an ICE propulsion system, though adoption rates are still rather low at only 2 percent.

“With advancements in technology, by 2035 we forecast that commercial electric vehicle adoption rates will push past the tipping point of 50 percent, based on favorable TCO and investment payback considerations,” Rundle said.

ACT’s 67th Seminar is scheduled for August 23-25, 2022.        

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