What's going on with the natural gas truck market?

Time to prepare for rapid proliferation of this technology

These concerted efforts are expected to drive Volvo and Mack to third place in natural gas truck sales in 2017.

Fueling Infrastructure

Clean Energy Fuels is rapidly emerging as the market leader in fueling station infrastructure. It recently formed a partnership with Pilot/Flying J for fueling station expansion targeted at the long-haul sector.

Moreover, Clean Energy has launched a co-financing program with Navistar to help fleets purchase natural gas vehicles, and this is expected to benefit both companies.

Ultimately, the success of natural gas-powered vehicles will depend on the rate of the expansion of the fueling network upon which these vehicles depend. At present, the majority of fueling stations are “return-to-depot” models which are not open to the public.

One Less Obstacle

As the new engine options continue to roll out, the interest in natural gas trucks will grow in lockstep with the supporting infrastructure. Frost & Sullivan predicts that the fueling infrastructure concerns that have held the industry back will no longer be an issue throughout much of the country by 2017.

Over the coming years, the heavy duty natural gas truck market is set to see extremely rapid growth which will help many haulers reduce their total overall costs of operation, thus helping them drive towards a more stable and successful future.

This implies that fleet managers of both private and for-hire fleets must now start preparing for effectively and efficiently servicing and maintaining these green trucks that will run on a green fuel that is in abundance in U.S. and can help reduce the carbon footprint and fuel cost associated with them. These trucks will feature new technologies and systems.

Reducing the lifecycle cost and maximizing their vehicle uptime is now officially the duty of the fleet maintenance managers.

Sandeep Kar is the global director of commercial vehicle research for Frost & Sullivan’s Automotive & Transportation business. The company partners with clients to accelerate their growth. www.frost.com.

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