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Published on May 18th, 2015 | by Cynthia Shahan


Sales Of Electric Drive Commercial Trucks & Buses To Expand & Strengthen

May 18th, 2015 by  

A recent report predicts sales of electric-drive commercial trucks and buses to expand and strengthen more than 805,000 from 2014 to 2023. According to Navigant Research, the report probes and researches the global market for commercial vehicles that use electric-drive vehicle technology. The report contains world market forecasts for sales and the number of vehicles in use through 2023.

Four new all electric community shuttle buses, funded by Google and the California Energy Commission, and use the Motiv Power Systems electronic powertrain technology are on the road in Mountain View, California. (PRNewsFoto/Motiv Power Systems)

Studying and analyzing the global market for commercial vehicles that use electric drive technology, the report, Electric Drive Trucks and Buses, composed of market forecasts for sales through 2023, notes fleet managers’ projections. Investment is the primary concern of most fleet managers. They estimate that the projected payback periods for alternative drivetrains is less than three years, with financial savings coming after that.

Navigant Research suggests that medium- and heavy-duty vehicles represent a carbon footprint that is excessive in spite of their numbers being low compared to other traffic. It reports that medium- and heavy-duty vehicles represent just a fraction of all vehicles on roadways today. However, driving in an urban environment (or for that matter on the interstate) in the US, it seems there are quite a bit more, and one is in the wake of diesel fumes far too often. Thus, a hopeful reported transition to large electric-drive vehicles with “improved fuel efficiency, technological advances, and an alternative to gasoline and diesel fuels” will offset the fumes. Along with this local effect, the transition will offset broader air pollution and emissions causing global warming.

Progress towards this segment of commercial and government fleet operators investing in greener vehicles is now. Navigant Research quotes,

“Recent innovation in the electric drive medium/heavy duty segment has the possibility to offer significant benefits for commercial applications,” says David Alexander, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “For example, some hybrid electric vehicles have drive cycles specifically designed for stop-start traffic, and many plug-in electric vehicles can use onboard electrical energy to replace idling diesel engines or provide temporary power to buildings or tools at remote sites.”


Essential questions in the report include:

  • Which type of electric drive will be the most likely to be implemented in commercial vehicles?
  • How big is the market for large electric vehicles]
  • Which countries will see the largest demand for the electric drive?
  • What will be the most popular fuel for large hybrid vehicles?
  • How quickly will the penetration rate of electric drive vehicles grow in individual countries?
  • Who needs this report?
  • Truck manufacturers
  • Bus manufacturers
  • Suppliers
  • Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) providers and manufacturers
  • Fleet managers
  • City managers
  • Government agencies
  • Investor community

Electric Drive Trucks and Buses analyzes the global market for commercial vehicles that use electric drive vehicle technology in three main segments: “Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Forecasts for the two hybrid segments fueled partly by petroleum derivatives (PHEVs and HEVs) are broken out by region and by fuel: gasoline or diesel.”

EV Obsession explains some specifics of the boom, suggesting that electric truck and bus sales are expected to surge 10-fold between now and 2023. EV Obsession also mentions specific regions likely to see high-growth. “In particular, Japan is expected to see the figure reach 21.2% by 2023…. Other regions that see relatively high penetration rates will be those that share common qualities with Japan — dense urban environments and a government looking to cut down on pollution and carbon emissions.”

CleanTechnica reminds us that the world of electric buses resounds with the name BYD, a Zayed Future Energy Prize winner (followed by another at a distance — Proterra). “Another name that you see from time to time is Motiv Power, and it is backed by a bigger name than all of the above — Google.”

Related Stories:

Google & Motiv Power Electric Bus Pilot Project Launches 

Electric Bus Archives on EV Obsession


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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)

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