New on-highway outlook report turns attention to alternative fuels

Updated Jun 14, 2018

The growing proliferation of alt-fuel activity in the commercial trucking industry takes center stage in the newest North American On-Highway Engine Outlook, published this week by ACT Research and Rhein Associates.

In the new report, the companies highlight alt-fuel activity for Class 4-8 trucks, including five-year forecasts of engines volumes and product trends. The outlook report also ties to the detailed North American commercial vehicle forecasts published monthly by ACT Research.

One of the discussions in the engine outlook report is the changing regulatory environment.

Tom Rhein, president of Rhein Associates, says, “This changing regulatory feature makes it more difficult and expensive to plan effectively. In addition to regulatory incentive programs, we’re paying close attention to EPA regulations as well as those in California.

“According to our research, there are now more than 20 manufacturers offering more than 50 electric drive models in the U.S. alone. This isn’t just to provide customers new options, it is to provide customers options needed to meet air quality regulations in the areas they serve.”

ACT Research and Rhein Associates say some of the product pronouncements the past three months include the following:

  • Freightliner debuted new CNG HD truck models.
  • Peterbilt announced plans for a Class 8 truck powered by Achates Power.
  • Ricardo reported its search for investors for tis CryoPower technology.
  • Daimler announced it will commence testing of its Class 8 eActros.
  • Efficient Drivetrains was chosen for a US DOE bus electrification project.
  • Volvo announced plans to accelerate the launch of two CEV trucks.
  • Nikola garnered several headlines with its receipt of an order for 800 fuel cell electric trucks.

Ken Vieth, president and Senior Analyst at ACT Research, adds, “It isn’t only U.S. markets where change is occurring. Mexico is implementing new emission standards for heavy duty engines and the EU Commission released a new proposal to reduce CO2 emissions for heavy-duty vehicles.”

The companies say this coincides with increasing deployment of alt-fuel vehicles recognizing that diesel power is under attack for long-term use.

For more information on the new report, please visit

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