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Retail Sales of NG Fueled HD Trucks Up M/M, Down YTD and Y/Y

July 15, 2016, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

U.S. and Canadian natural gas Class 8 truck retail sales improved in May, after getting off to a slow start earlier in the year, according to a recent report from ACT Research. The “Natural Gas Quarterly” attributes this to a high number of natural gas vehicle repeat sales, as well as purchases by transit bus and refuse truck operators. However, the continuing low cost of diesel is making the return on investment for adopting natural gas less lucrative for fleets not yet invested in NG-fueled vehicles.

“With the fuel price differential continuing to narrow, the ROI to convert from diesel to natural gas is moving in the wrong direction: payback periods remain lengthy,” said Ken Vieth, ACT’s Sr. Partner and General Manager. He continued, “This doesn’t mean the adoption of NG fuel has stopped or that there are no new developments supporting a future uptick in NG truck orders.” Vieth explained, “Despite a 48% m/m uptick in May, year-to-date volumes are 24% below 2015’s level and year-over-year sales are down 21%. NG infrastructure continues to be built, albeit at targeted locations and at a slowing pace. Existing NG equipment users remain committed to its long-term viability and emission benefits.” Additionally, the report provides examples of how equipment research and development efforts are continuing to advance the market. ACT Research sees only modest, single-digit growth for the adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel in the U.S. the next few years, barring legislative changes.

The “Natural Gas Quarterly” provides information on the current and projected status of those factors that impact a decision to adopt natural gas. It includes a “dashboard gauge” that looks at fuel price spread, public heavy duty NG fueling infrastructure, NG equipment, and actual NG heavy duty truck sales.

ACT is the leading publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, and worldwide banking and investment companies.

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