electric truck

Alternative Forms of Propulsion Growing in Truck Markets

Deloitte are currently in the process of carrying out a study within Germany entitled “Truck markets in Upheaval”, which is scheduled to be completed by 2026. The study postulates that around 13% of all commercial vehicles will be powered by alternative forms of propulsion within the next 10 years. One particular aspect of the study found that hybrid powered vehicles are particularly prized within inner cities.

It is predicted that electric powered vehicles and other forms of hybrid propulsion will play a crucial role within the logistics industry in the next few years. For example

In the beginning of 2016 around 32,500 lorries fitted with hybrid engines have already been approved for use in Germany alone.

Within 10 years approximately one fifth of all vehicles will be powered by hybrid or fully electric motors.

Hybrid propulsion within the distribution sector

Within the inner cities the hybrid engine is best utilised in smaller commercial vehicles. For long distance transport the use of natural gas is preferable because of its operational performance and its consumption advantage of up to 40% compared to diesel engines. Over longer distances Liquefied Petroleum Gas is ideal for medium-range distances.

In addition to the type of propulsion, telematics will play an increasingly vital role. Its efficiency and cost benefits will be critical for success particularly for the individual providers. Whether fuel-efficient driving through use of 'vehicle platooning' by driving closely behind another lorry, ride and truck sharing or fully autonomous vehicles. Without the massive use of telematics in ten years time, it is probable that not a single lorry wheel will be in motion. Telematics services in many different or standardised forms will play a central role in increasing competition.

Smaller businesses are increasingly under pressure

The next few years will bring about radical consolidation according to the recent truck study. A quarter of the fleet operators in Germany who possess a fleet of more than 100 vehicles will experience an increase of around 10%. This will understandably place smaller businesses under immense pressure.

Logistics companies will need to convert or re-equip their fleets with more advanced, greener forms of propulsion. For larger logistics companies this additional cost will be much easier to absorb. However, for the smaller individual vehicle companies this may not be entirely feasible.

09 January 2017

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