The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Market 2035: One Research Firm’s Take

According to recent work from Navigant Research, the number of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) in use worldwide by 2035 will nearly double from today's 60 million, accounting for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.4%. And in that time, the proportion of alternative fuel vehicles in the MHDV segment will balloon to represent 14% of total annual sales 20 years from now.

In today's global MHDV sector – which Navigant defines as highway-capable trucks and buses weighing over 10,000 lbs. – conventional internal combustion engines (ICEs) powered by either gasoline or diesel are found in about 94% of all vehicles. But in the coming years, their share will lag overall market growth, with a CAGR of 1.9%.

As a result, the share of MHDVs in use with conventional ICEs will fall from 94.9% in 2014 to 87.1% in 2035, the company says.

In their place, the market for MHDVs powered by either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) will surge, growing from representing 2.7% of vehicles in use in 2014 to approximately 6.9% in 2035.

Navigant adds that propane autogas vehicles will grow from representing 2.2% of vehicles in use in 2014 to 3.4% in 2035, while hybrid electric vehicles will grow from 0.1% to 1.7% over the same period. Plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and fuel-cell vehicles combined are forecast to comprise less than 1% of the MHDVs in use in 2035.

Overall, diesel will remain the primary fuel choice of MHDVs throughout the forecast period, but the proportion will fall from over 79% in 2014 to 76% in 2035, according to the company. Gasoline vehicles are mainly found in the medium-duty segment (10,000 lbs. to 26,000 lbs. GVWR), and these vehicles will go from representing 15.7% of MHDVs in use today to 12.5% by 2035.

In contrast, the overall market share of alt-fuel vehicles in the MHDV sector will increase to 11.2% by 2035, up from 5% today, Navigant says.

For more details on Navigant's study, click here.

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