Hybrid Commercial Vehicles to Become More Accessible for Fleets

Aug 13, 2010

Incentives and federal grants are expected to propel the adoption of hybrid commercial vehicles in North America and Europe, according to a study by Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan's study, "Strategic Analysis of North American and European Hybrid Truck, Bus and Van Market," finds that the hybrid truck, bus and van market is expected to grow from 4,100 units in 2009 to 222,000 units by 2016. The vehicles covered in this study include: light commercial vehicles, medium commercial vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles and buses.

In the commercial vehicle industry, the return-on-investment potential is a key determinant for adoption of new technologies. Fuel price volatility, government incentives and low lifecycle costs associated with hybrid trucks are all in favor of hybrid commercial vehicles, according to Frost & Sullivan.

However, hybrid trucks feature energy storage systems, control and power electronics and rotating machines, which are expensive technologies creating considerable cost barriers to potential adopters. Furthermore, storage systems such as batteries must be replaced every four to five years based on the vocational application.

"Currently, the high upfront cost associated with hybrids is countered with federal grants, incentives and tax rebates," explains Frost & Sullivan Global Program Manager Sandeep Kar. "Although such incentives offer relief in the short term, for hybrids to be commercially viable in the long term, the upfront cost difference should reduce considerably."

[via Business Fleet]

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