Retail sales of natural gas-powered Class 8 trucks rose 19% in the U.S. and Canada for the first five months of 2021, although comparisons to the same time period in 2020 are “somewhat unfair” due to market turbulence triggered by pandemic effects, a report said today.
For context, total U.S. Class 8 sales were up 32% for the same period, transportation industry analyst group ACT Research said in its “ACT Alternative Fuels Quarterly (AFQ).”
Heavy-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles work much like gasoline-powered vehicles with internal combustion engines, the U.S. Department of Energy says. The fuel is typically stored in multiple tanks or cylinders behind the cab of the vehicle, and then burned either through a spark plug system or diesel-like compression.
“Sales of natural gas-powered vehicles as reported by the six major truck OEMs, who account for approximately 60% of the heavy-duty natural gas market, were mixed in the March to May 2021 time period, with March experiencing a sizeable sequential gain and even more impressive year-over-year growth,” Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research, said in a release. “Counter to COVID-influenced expectations, April natural gas vehicle sales volumes dropped month over month and year over year, also reducing the year-to-date increase. Activity in May appears to have shrugged off whatever afflicted April, returning to solid, across-the-board improvement, with sales jumping 23% sequentially and 206% higher than the year-ago level.”
Columbus, Indiana-based ACT also tracks changes in existing and planned alternative fuel/power infrastructure and equipment developments. In that category, the firm has seen an overall increase in electric charging stations, but a continuing decline of total natural gas stations, although discussions throughput the transportation sector are becoming more common about hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial vehicles and investments in electric commercial vehicle development.
ACT Research: Class 8 Natural Gas Truck Retail Sales Gained 19% YTD through May 2021https://t.co/bGiAFUNs72— ACT Research (@actresearch) July 28, 2021