Sales of Medium-and Heavy-duty Natural Gas Trucks Healthy in 2014

WASHINGTON, DC- The natural gas medium- and heavy-duty market segments grew steadily in 2014 when compared to 2013, but production and sales of light-duty natural gas vehicles dropped 34 percent, according to NGVAmerica’s 2014 NGV Production and Sales Report.

NGVAmerica’s annual survey of OEMs and approved aftermarket suppliers shows natural gas vehicle (NGV) production and sales totaled just over 18,000 vehicles in 2014.

Total NGV production and sales fell slightly in 2014, by about 1,250 vehicles or 6.5 percent, compared to 2013; a surprisingly healthy number given the drop in crude oil and gasoline and diesel prices, which began in late June 2014.

The light-duty vehicle market bore the brunt of the decline, dropping nearly 3,500 units compared to 2013, whereas the medium-duty market ( Class 3-6 vehicles) rose about 24 percent over 2013. The heavy-duty market grew about 30 percent, a jump of about 2,000 units over 2013.

That said, the medium-duty market is still relatively small. The medium-duty market increase was due to a mix of shuttles, utility cab-chassis orders, and several commercial box truck cab-over-engine orders.

According to the report, the medium-duty market is poised for continued growth as more platforms become available and as incremental price premiums drop.

The heavy-duty segment benefitted from market drivers in three distinct areas: continued growth in refuse truck sales and strong transit bus orders, the first full-year availability of a new engine platform, and continued growth in dual-fuel systems. Refuse truck sales continued to capture over 50 percent of the market as the industry’s large fleets-including Waste Management, Republic Services, and Progressive Waste Solutions- continued to transition to natural gas.

Many medium-size companies also began to transition to natural gas as a way of staying competitive with their larger competitors, according to the report.

The report claims that the availability of the Cummins Westport (CWI) ISX-12G 11.9L engine led to significant sales in a variety of platforms from most of the major truck OEMs in 2014.

Solid growth in the heavy-duty sector is expected to continue in 2015 with similar sales gains in the CWI  ISL-G 8.9L engine in refuse and transit applications, and a more robust sales performance of the ISX-12G engine in trucking and other heavy-duty applications. The medium-duty sector is also expected to continue to make sales gains in 2015, but sales growth in both the heavy- and medium-duty sectors will continue to be dependent on the price of oil and the demand for diesel fuel.

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