Sales of natural gas trucks rebounding

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Updated Aug 1, 2019
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Electrification has all but been anointed the alternative power of the future, but natural gas sales of natural gas trucks are surging in certain segments while EVs continue to work out the kinks.

U.S. and Canadian Class 8 natural gas truck retail sales climbed 43% year-to-date for the first five months of 2019, according to a recent quarterly report released by ACT Research. Year-to-date sales at this point in 2018 were down 18%, following a 13% full-year increase in 2017.

“Bucking the early decline pattern of the past few years, ACT Research Senior Partner and GM Ken Vieth says cumulative sales for the first five months of 2019 appear to be gaining ground.

“Despite soft reports in three of the first five months this year, sales of natural gas-powered vehicles are on an overall upward trajectory, gaining 10% month-over-month, 60% compared to May of 2018, and showing 43% improvement against the first five months of last year,” he added.

Vieth said natural gas vehicle purchases continue to be dominated by refuse fleets, as well as transit and school bus operations. Among truckers, it appears the majority of incremental volume came from current natural gas vehicle users replacing units or increasing their number.

“Additionally, in a sampling of news articles from 2019’s second quarter, notable sales and investments are going into natural gas, especially renewable natural gas (RNG),” he added.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected].