ACT Research reported Friday that while U.S. and Canadian Natural Gas Class 8 truck retail sales rose 13 percent in 2017, the market has shed 18 percent year-to-date through May 2018. ACT claims sales totals from January through May 2017 were down 14 percent from the first five months of the previous year.
“As we can see from the year-to-date data in 2017, it isn’t unexpected that sales at this point in the year are subpar. On a nominal basis, natural gas retail sales are down an almost-neutral 7 units for the first five months of 2018 on a year-over-year basis,” says Ken Vieth, senior partner and general manager at ACT Research. “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.”
On the other side of the alternative fuels fence, ACT Research states electric vehicle technology continues to make strides as it further penetrates the various commercial vehicle applications, with selected Class 8 vehicles on the docket. Initial EV orders are coming from delivery, transit and some school bus applications, the company says.
“All viable commercial vehicle power alternatives must now be considered to accurately measure potential cost savings for fleets and overall emissions, as we look to the future,” says Vieth.