According to a new report from Navigant Research, the plug-in electric fleet population is expected to make up less than 1% of the fleet vehicle market in 2018, but will rise to 12% of the overall fleet vehicle population by 2030. The report analyzes the global market for light duty (LD) and medium and heavy duty (MHD) plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) fleets.

Fleet electrification is being driven by battery innovations, energy economics, and government regulation of transportation pollution. Cost reductions in batteries and other PEV technologies are reducing the purchase price of PEVs, while governments are incentivizing adoption with purchase incentives and emissions reduction goals.

“Fleet electrification has largely focused on the LD segment to date. However, recent developments with electric MHDs point toward encouraging signs of future growth in that segment,” says Raquel Soat, research analyst with Navigant Research.

“For example, the 2017 introduction of the Tesla Semi, BYD’s debut of its refuse truck in 2018, and the success of electric buses in China over the last four years all show momentum toward larger fleet electrification.”

According to the report, many fleets have made commitments to use electricity in all or part of their vehicles in the next decade, including large MHD fleets such as DHL, UPS, FedEx, and several city bus fleets in China. While the transportation industry is transforming its energy system, it is also being disrupted by innovations in automated vehicle systems and advances in battery energy density. Vehicle automation will likely encourage greater use of LDs to augment alternative or public transportation modes and transform MHD markets and uses.

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