Number of Zero-Emissions Commercial Vehicle Models Expected to Double by 2023

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The number of available and announced models of zero-emission commercial vehicles in the U.S. and Canada is on track to rise nearly 78% by the end of 2020 compared to the end of last year, Truckinginfo and Truck News are reporting.

The number of models of zero-emission trucks, buses, and off-road equipment is expected to double between the end of 2019 and 2023, according to a new analysis by Calstart. “Zero-emission trucks and buses are on the verge of a major surge in the U.S. and Canada,” said Calstart Northeast Regional Director Ben Mandel during a June 2 media briefing. “The growth we’re seeing is happening really across the board.”

Earlier this year, Calstart’s Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero program launched an online tool cataloging models of current and upcoming zero-emission commercial trucks, buses, and off-road equipment.

The resulting Zero-Emission Technology Inventory shows that the number of zero-emission trucks, buses and off-road equipment models will rise 78% this year, and double by 2023. By the end of 2020 there will be 169 medium- and heavy-duty models in production, compared to 95 offerings in 2019. Within three years, there are expected to be 195 such vehicles.

“What we’re seeing is a wide diversity of offerings from a broad range of OEMs,” Mandel said. “This already competitive landscape will grow increasingly so over the next three to four years.”

A key market is clearly in the form of medium-duty vehicles like box trucks and other straight trucks, thanks in large part to up-fitters that provide battery-electric conversion kits that can be offered with different body types and vehicle chassis, Mandel said.

Compared to the medium-duty market, “it might take a few more years for this market in heavy-duty trucks – especially on the longer-range end of the spectrum – to present themselves and make themselves a fully developed market,” Mandel said.

Currently, the most promising applications for heavy-duty trucks are in service such as port drayage or regional operations, where heavy-duty trucks with ranges up to 250-300 miles are already available or are scheduled to be by the end of this year.

Factors behind the growth in zero-emission vehicles include corporate commitments, policy drivers, and increasingly attractive business cases alike.

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