Worldwide sales of alternative fuel vehicles will reach 14 percent of total sales of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2035, according to a report from Navigant Research.
Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) represent less than 5 percent of the total vehicle market today, and the vast majority of these use conventional internal combustion engines (ICE) powered by either gasoline or diesel. That is changing as less expensive alternatives to petroleum-based fuels, such as natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, also known as propane or autogas), and electricity make inroads in the market.
The total number of MHDVs in use worldwide will nearly double between 2014 and 2035, according to Transportation Forecast: Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicles. Unlike light duty vehicles, most of today’s MHDVs are fueled by diesel fuel. While diesel will remain the primary fuel choice of MHDVs throughout the forecast period, the percentage of MHDVs powered by diesel is expected to fall from more than 79 percent in 2014 to 76 percent in 2035.
As more natural gas vehicles hit the road, the need for refueling stations is becoming urgent, according to a Navigant Research report published last year that predicts 40 percent of the stations that will be opened in the next two years will be in North America. By 2020, there will be 30,000 stations worldwide, the report forecasts.