Diesel powertrains are poised to lose market dominance in North America by 2020 and show a year-on-year negative growth from 2016. Research indicates that global average CNG/LNG costs are declining, which is posing strong competition for H&E transit buses, especially in North America.
On the other hand, Europe is expected to take pro-green measures, especially in the field of public transportation, although done under strain due to their sovereign debt crisis and stunted economic growth.
Bus fleet maintenance managers, as well as their truck market counterparts, will need to increasingly focus on non-diesel powertrain systems. The rising penetration of CNG/LNG and hybrid/electric powertrain systems will require proficiencies in servicing and maintaining batteries, advanced tanks and injection systems, traction motors, power and control electronic modules, and thermal systems. In addition to this, familiarity with H&E powertrain total cost of operation and ownership calculations will also be necessary.
Hybrid transit buses will be more visible in American and Canadian cities, and this is presenting electrifying opportunities for the original equipment and maintenance markets alike.
Wallace Lau is a senior research analyst for Frost & Sullivan’s Automotive & Transportation Commercial Vehicle research practice. Sandeep Kar is the group’s director. Frost & Sullivan (www.frost.com) works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.