Market research firm Pike Research forecasts that the sales of hybrid commercial trucks will grow from 9,000 in 2010 to more than 100,000 in 2015 as fleet operators respond to rising fuel costs and stricter emissions.
“Payback periods on hybrid drivetrains are improving for medium and heavy-duty truck classes, particularly as oil prices continue to rise,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst. “An increased focus on efficiency and regulatory compliance among fleet managers, combined with a variety of new models being introduced by truck manufacturers, will lead to substantial growth in this market over the next five years.”
Pike Research identifies five separate types of hybrid systems that can be used in medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles: (1) hybrid electric, (2) plug-in hybrid electric, (3) battery electric, (4) mild electric power take-off (EPTO) hybrids, and (5) hydraulic hybrids. Among these options, Pike Research forecasts that hybrid electric trucks will be the largest segment between now and 2015.