U.S. and Canadian natural gas Class 8 truck retail sales declined in the June to August period. In addition, year-to-date sales through August continued to lose ground, falling 29 percent behind last year’s comparable level from a reading of 25 percent lower for year-to-date May, as reported last quarter.
On the buying side, natural gas-fueled vehicle purchases continue to be dominated by transit bus and refuse truck operators.
“While sales of natural gas-powered units have their own inherent challenges, part of the reason for softness may also be related to factors impacting the broader truck market,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president. “Regardless of the fuel used, heavy trucks are all competing for the same freight, which has failed to increase for at least the last five quarters.”
Summing up the market, Tam said, “Coincidentally, many truckers increased their fleet sizes just as freight growth was slowing, setting up the current situation of excess capacity that is keeping the brakes on new truck sales, irrespective of fuel type.”
The Natural Gas Quarterly provides information on the current and projected status of those factors that impact a decision to adopt natural gas. It includes a “dashboard gauge” that looks at fuel price spread, public heavy-duty NG fueling infrastructure, NG equipment, and actual NG heavy-duty truck sales.
ACT has a free, quick-reference calculator for fleets considering moving from diesel to natural gas at calc.actresearch.net.
ACT is a leading publisher of new and used commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for the North American market. Most major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, and worldwide banking and investment companies use its commercial vehicle services.