COLUMBUS, Ind – Natural gas Class 8 truck sales in the US and Canada improved in February after getting off to a slow start in 2016, according to ACT Research.
ACT said the increase is because of a high number of natural gas vehicle repeat sales, despite the continuing low cost of diesel prices, which is making the return on investment for adopting of natural gas less lucrative for fleets not yet invested in NG-fueled vehicles.
“With the fuel price differential continuing to narrow, the ROI to convert from diesel to natural gas is moving in the wrong direction: payback periods are lengthening,” said Ken Vieth, ACT’s senior partner and general manager. “This doesn’t mean the adoption of NG fuel has stopped or that there are no new developments supporting a future uptick in NG truck orders. Despite a 3% m/m uptick in February, year-to-date volumes are 14% below 2015’s level and year-over-year sales are down 25%. NG infrastructure continues to be built, albeit at targeted locations, and existing NG equipment users remain committed to its long-term viability and emission benefits.”