Zero-Emission Truck Market Gains Momentum: Report


According to new research from IDTechEx, global greenhouse gas emission reduction targets will necessitate a total decarbonization of the truck business over the next 30 years, with major truck manufacturers and automotive suppliers already battling for future market share in vehicle electrification.

IDTechEx’s new report, “Electric and Fuel Cell Trucks 2024-2044: Markets, Technologies and Forecasts”, explores the future of the rapidly developing zero-emission truck market, covering battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell trucks. The report covers the technical and economic aspects of zero-emission truck deployment, key enabling technologies and IDTechEx’s granular 20-year outlook for the zero-emission truck market, with a focus on the U.S., Europe and China.

Despite increasing interest in zero-emission trucks and substantial recent progress, the global market share of zero-emission trucks in 2022 was around 1.6% of total sales, approximately 39,000 units, with the vast majority in China. 

Model availability has grown nearly 65% from 2021 until the end of 2022 (from 182 to 299 models globally). The most robust model-availability growth comes from heavy-duty truck (HDT) models, which reflect 95% growth from 2021 to 2022 (57 models to 111 models) as the technology advances. Medium-duty truck (MDT) models grew 50% year-on-year between 2021 and 2022. China represents the vast majority of the zero-emission truck market globally — home to about 158 models available in 2023.

With vehicles now becoming available and production scaling up, IDTechEx expects the global market to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 31% over the next decade.

Key to zero-emission truck deployment is understanding daily duty cycle energy demand. It is frequently suggested that electric trucks cannot deliver useful range because the weight and volume of today’s lithium-ion batteries limit the energy that can be stored onboard a battery electric truck. Indeed, the chart highlights that the early generations of such trucks are limited to less than 400 km on one charge (in optimal conditions). However, while long-haul applications are not yet feasible, a large percentage of urban and regional routes are deliverable with battery electric trucks.

The U.S. Department of Transportation suggests that approximately 73.7% of the weight and 55.4% of the value of goods moved less than 250 miles between origin and destination in 2023, so there is, therefore, a significant share of truck operations that are ripe for electrification. Longer-range duty cycles will become possible in the future with improved battery pack energy density, better brake energy recuperation and charging strategy optimization during breaks in operation.

For battery electric trucks to deliver longer-range applications, they will need a large battery capacity, but as such, will require considerable time to charge once depleted. Megawatt class charging is poised to begin commercial rollout and support the quick top-up of these large batteries in the mandated break times for long-haul trucking operations. The Megawatt Charging Standard (MCS) is designed for a six-fold higher current and up to 10-fold higher power compared with CCS. Commercialization of chargers with a rated power of 1 MW will require significant investment, as stations with such high-power needs will incur significant costs in both installation and grid upgrades.

The new IDTechEx report is designed to help businesses across the automotive industry plan for the future in this dynamic market. This report provides 80 forecast lines, giving a 20-year outlook for zero-emission truck sales, market penetration, battery demand, fuel cell demand and market value, with separate forecasts for medium and heavy-duty trucks.

Shazan Siddiqi, Senior Technology Analyst at IDTechEx and author of this report, will be presenting a free-to-attend webinar Dec. 13, 2023, on the topic “Zero Emission Truck Tech: Future of Hauling.”

This webinar will delve into the key components of zero emission truck technology, its current state of development and the potential implications for the future of logistics.

Click here to find out more and register a place in one of the three sessions.

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