For the first five months of 2021, U.S. and Canadian Class 8 natural gas truck retail sales rose 19 percent year-to-date against a somewhat unfair comparison of the same time period in 2020, according to AFQ: Alternative Fuels Quarterly by ACT Research. For context, total U.S. Class 8 sales were up 32 percent for the same period.
“Sales of natural gas-powered vehicles as reported by the six major truck OEMs, who account for approximately 60 percent of the heavy-duty natural gas market, were mixed in the March to May 2021 time period, with March experiencing a sizable sequential gain and even more impressive year-over-year growth,” says ACT Research Vice President Steve Tam.
“Counter to COVID-influenced expectations, April natural gas vehicle sales volumes dropped month over month and year over year, also reducing the year-to-date increase. Activity in May appears to have shrugged off whatever afflicted April, returning to solid, across-the-board improvement, with sales jumping 23 percent sequentially and 206 percent higher than the year-ago level,” Tam says.
Besides sales, the AFQ analyzes the change in existing and planned alternative fuel/power infrastructure and equipment developments.
“We’re seeing an overall increase in electric charging stations, but a continuing decline of total natural gas stations. That said, we continue to see articles about natural gas use in transportation, as well as discussions about hydrogen fuel cells and investments in electric commercial vehicle development, making trade-industry headlines,” Tam says.
The ACT AFQ provides insight, analysis and trends about alternative fuel/power adoption for the U.S. heavy- and medium-duty commercial vehicle markets. It is designed to give quick insights to anyone with an interest in the evolution of power and alternative fuel use for heavy vehicles. The AFQ details such adoption considerations as fuel prices, fuel/charging infrastructure development, equipment prices/products/technological developments, and regulatory changes. NG truck sales data and a forecast for new natural gas adoption are included.