300,000 Hybrid Trucks and Buses to be on the Road by 2015

Transit buses have long been an important platform for testing new drivetrains in the heavy-duty vehicle market, but within the past couple of years, manufacturers have significantly increased their development of hybrid electric and hydraulic hybrid drivetrains for the medium and heavy-duty truck segments.

These hybrid vehicles promise a reduction in fuel consumption between 5% and 50% depending on design, which will help reduce costs and emissions, making hybrid trucks more and more attractive for fleet managers.

According to a new report from Pike Research, the global market for hybrid medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses will increase from 9,000 vehicles sold in 2010 to more than 100,000 vehicles in 2015. During this five-year period, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that a total of nearly 300,000 hybrid trucks will be sold worldwide.

“Fleet managers are actively seeking tools to insulate themselves from growing fuel costs and increasingly stringent emissions regulations,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst, “but at the same time they do not want to compromise on vehicle requirements. Many new hybrid truck designs introduced in the next few years hold strong potential to strike a balance between efficiency, cost, and performance.”

Hurst adds that, while North America is currently the leading region for hybrid trucks, Asia Pacific will take the lead in 2011, driven by growth in both Japan and China. Pike Research forecasts that the United States will remain the largest singular market for hybrid trucks and buses between now and 2015, followed closely by China.

Pike Research’s analysis further indicates that both hybrid and battery electric vehicles have good potential for the medium and heavy-duty truck classes. Fleets that need to cover expansive territory while carrying heavy-duty loads will likely adopt hybrid technology to help contain the costs of the battery.

On the other hand, fleets that have a set delivery or commuter route will likely gravitate toward battery electric technology. Hurst does not expect to see significant numbers in the plug-in hybrid truck category, though the greatest source of interest in plug-in hybrid trucks will be from utility companies.

Pike Research’s study, “Hybrid Trucks and Buses”, analyzes the opportunities and challenges in the market for hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. The report provides a comprehensive examination of hybrid and battery technologies, along with key drivers of demand from medium/heavy-duty truck fleet customers.

The report also explores global government regulations related to diesel emissions and hybrid purchase incentives. It includes detailed forecasts through 2015 for commercial vehicle registrations, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric medium and heavy-duty trucks segmented by country and world region, as well as bus fleets for the United States. Key market players are also profiled. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Clean Transportation, Clean Industry, Corporate Sustainability, and Building Efficiency sectors.