ACT Research has released the results of its updated research on U.S. natural gas transportation fuel trends in the heavy-duty truck market in its report entitled “NG Reality Check: Moving From Infancy to Adolescence.”
The report, published in October 2014, provides forecasts, insights and supporting analysis on trends already taking place such as:
- NG engine technologies (spark, HPDI, dual fuel) ;
- NG fuel preference (LNG, CNG, DME) ;
- Infrastructure design (fuel only to full service and fuels) ;
- Emerging infrastructure investors and early NG adopters ;
- ROI adjustments as fuel cost spreads and up-charges change ;
- MPG vs. CPM (cost per mile) ;
- Shipper-trucker relationships from contracts to diesel fuel surcharges to going green.
ACT published its first comprehensive natural gas study in 2012. According to the research firm, the earlier report was more bullish than the latest report, reflecting the enthusiasm of the moment. Since then, planned market and product development has been slow to materialize with narrowing fuel price spread and improving diesel engine fuel economy gains.
“The previous long-term penetration over-statement does not mean natural gas has not grown. It has and will continue to grow, but at a slower rate the next few years,” said Ken Vieth, ACT Research’s senior partner and general manager. “NG Class 8 truck/transit bus penetration was 3% in 2013 and should reach 4% in 2014, or about 11,000 units.”
ACT estimated that NG Class 8 penetration is expected to total 23% of the units sold in 2025. According to ACT, if the total new U.S. class 8 truck/transit bus market is 200,000 units that year, then the NG market will be a strong 46,000 units.
“That’s a large quantity that will be shared by those with an understanding of tomorrow’s truck transportation needs and plans to get there,” Vieth said. “Depending upon the emissions and greenhouse gas needs of the nation and the regulations put in place in coming years to achieve those needs, NG penetration could even be higher since NG is equally available and is a cleaner, cheaper (CPM) fuel than diesel.”