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ACT Research finds increased interest in electric trucks, natural gas

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There has been an increase in heavy-duty natural gas use from the refuse industry, and continued growth of interest in electric vehicles, especially in the medium-duty segment, according to the latest release of the N.A. On-highway CV Engine Outlook, by ACT Research Co. and Rhein Associates.

The refuse industry leads in converting vehicles to natural gas. Key players in the refuse market are intent on furthering a progressive, green image. “They have established natural gas fueling stations, allowing for cost-effective overnight refueling and making refueling available to other natural gas users,” noted Tom Rhein, president of Rhein Associates. “They are also strongly focused on using renewable natural gas (RNG) to further reduce vehicle emissions by using landfill gas, a significant fuel savings.”

Waste Management operates more than 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks and 100 refueling stations across the US; 25 of those stations offer public access.

Interest for electric vehicles continues to grow, with medium-duty applications first to enter service. Workhorse has a commercial chassis for walk-in type vans, with firm orders being built in 2017 for package delivery companies.

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“At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group announced plans to develop an electric-powered, medium-duty vehicle for launch in US and Canada in 2019, using VW Group’s chargE concept,” Rhein said. “In November, Navistar announced an electric powertrain using the chargE concept for its IC school bus, also available in 2019.”

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