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Analysts say infrastructure investment, green initiatives could be good news for truckers

Analysts say infrastructure investment, green initiatives could be good news for truckers
According to industry analysts at ACT Research and Rhein Associates, the demand for natural gas-powered commercial trucks is expected to maintain modest growth.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to the recently released North American Commercial Vehicle On-Highway Engine Outlook, published by ACT Research and Rhein Associates, the Biden administration’s focus includes prioritizing investment in new low-carbon technologies to strengthen the nation’s competitiveness, improve its air quality and add good-paying jobs in a growing economic segment.

“The trucking industry has rebounded strongly, with spot freight rates at record highs and increased new truck order intake leading to strong industry outlooks for the medium and heavy-duty segments,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst for ACT. “The year-long shift to more home deliveries because of COVID continues to influence the trucking industry, and these reduced-distance routes and increasing last mile deliveries are ideal candidates for alternative powertrain adoption.”

The report also notes that, while the trucking industry might escape short-term focus, longer-term efforts, such as infrastructure investment, will be good for truckers, particularly vocational trucks. In addition, analysts believe green initiatives will drive demand for zero-emission commercial vehicles.

“In 2020, truck penetration peaked at just over 32% in a depressed Class 8 market. For smaller displacement engines, non-captive suppliers represented more than 90% market share,” said Andrew Wrobel, senior powertrain analyst for Rhein. “Captive engines account for almost 70% of Class 8 tractor applications, where engines over 14 liters continue to increase share, ending 2020 around 55% share.”

When asked about alternative fuels, Wrobel commented, “Demand for natural gas-powered trucks has shown modest growth, with further slow growth anticipated, and despite the current pandemic, electric vehicle product development and new introductions continue.”

The North American On-Highway Engine Outlook highlights power-source activity for commercial vehicle Classes 5-8, including five-year forecasts of engines volumes and product trends. The report is tied to ACT’s detailed monthly reports.

The Trucker News Staff

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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