In its most recent Alternative Fuels Quarterly report, ACT Research announced Class 8 natural gas truck retail sales slipped month over month in August but still have grown by 27 percent year to date. ACT says this year’s strong order totals look equally impressive compared to 2018 sales — the market was down 26 percent year to date at the same time in 2018.
“Bucking the early decline pattern of the past few years, cumulative sales for the first eight months of 2019 appear to be gaining ground, with sales of natural gas-powered vehicles on an overall upward trajectory,” says Steve Tam, vice president, ACT Research. “That said and 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. Among truckers, it appears as though the majority of incremental volume came from current natural gas vehicle users replacing units or increasing their number.”
Natural gas truck retail sales were up 13 percent year over year in 2017.
ACT’s Alternative Fuels Quarterly provides insight, analysis, and trends about alternative fuel/power adoption for the U.S. heavy- and medium-duty commercial vehicle markets. ACT says it is designed to give quick insights to anyone with an interest in the evolution of power and alternative fuel use for heavy-duty, on-highway applications.
“Besides sales, the Alternative Fuels Quarterly analyzes the change in existing and planned alternative fuel/power infrastructure and equipment developments,” says Tam. On that note, he adds, “We’re seeing an overall increase in operational station/charging stations, with the exception of natural gas which overall is contracting but seems to be expanding specifically in the number of existing and planned private heavy-duty CNG stations.”
“Regarding electric commercial vehicles, right now we’re witnessing a tug-of-war between fuel-cell and battery technology investment in the Class 8 over-the-road market, and it’s way too early for us to call a winner,” he adds.