Hybrid Commercial Vehicle Analysis is the latest report on Product, Markets, Sales, OEMs Strategies etc. Hybrids are a popular choice in the passenger car industry. Recently, truck and bus manufacturers have also started working on hybrids; these are the first of their kind in the market. The leading e-mobility bus markets are China and North America. Europe hybrid bus market is slightly behind but growing. Emerging countries are also beginning to manufacture hybrid and electric buses (e.g. Brazil, India and Russia).China is therefore the biggest market for electric buses currently and is expected to continue to grow strongly. Moreover, Chinese manufactures have started entering European and international markets in order to establish their brands.
In United States and China, the OEM is setting a new focus on gas fuelled trucks with CNG and LNG at the moment. Almost all players predict that hybridization will, in the long run, prevail in all segments. Throwing light on last year’s reports shows that duty distribution trucks have been strongly promoted as the most feasible segment.
Truck and Bus manufacturer’s strategies Analysis:
- Activities: Big European and Japanese manufacturers are highly active in the field of hybridization. In China and United States, the OEM is setting a new focus on gas fuelled trucks with CNG and LNG at the moment.
- Market penetration: Almost all players predict that hybridization will, in the long run, prevail in all segments. Throwing light on last year’s reports shows that duty distribution trucks have been strongly promoted as the most feasible segment. In Europe only small series have been built and sold, where as in Japan hybrids are more successful in this segment. More recently, an expansion towards the long haul segment is clearly seen.
- System control: In the beginning, European OEM used hybrid system modules form suppliers. But it has shown that systems where the OEM can optimize the energy flow between the conventional engine, the E-motor and energy storage have much bigger advantages
- Market leaders: In the light segment, the Japanese OEMs- Hino and Fuso, have a long history in hybridization. Fuso has started to sell the second generation of Fuso Canter Hybrid (7.5T) in Europe in 2012. Hino launched its first hybrid vehicle in 1991 (1993 first light commercial truck) In the heavy segment Volvo/Renault are the market leader in hybrid trucks.
Hybrid and Electric Bus Market:
- Hybrid buses fuel savings and sort cycles: Hybrid city buses are seen as mature technology. They have been operating successfully all over the world. Fuel savings depend on the conditions (topography, start-stop cycle, heating in winter, cooling in summer etc.).
- Hybrid – bridging technology: Some players like bus operators and politicians, see the hybrids as a stepping stone to electric buses, and believe that hybrids will be replaced by them in the future.
- Different energy storage solutions: There is a wide range of energy storage solutions; lithium ion batteries and ultra capacitors are most commonly used in hybrid buses.
- The rise of battery electric buses: Due to falling battery prices, quiet and local emission free operation electric buses are getting more attention. In Europe electric buses from several international OEMs are in customer tests (e.g. in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Italy, Swiss, Czech, Poland).
- Several possibilities for charging infrastructure: Methods like Induction, plug -in, charging from the top via pantograph and battery swap are the various possible charging solutions. So far no clear preferred method has emerged. Charging via cable (plug-in) offers advantages in terms of costs and implementation, followed by charging via pantograph.
- Obstacles for electric buses: Cost, capacity and weight of batteries are the main challenges for electric buses. With mass production batteries have big potential to become cheaper.
- System strategy: All OEMs in bus segment have hybrid solutions. Consequently, competitors expand their e-mobility portfolio e.g. with articulated and double deck hybrid buses. Thus, the improvement in performance and reduction of costs are always in focus.
Key Insight of Truck Market:
- Fuel, CO2, and noise reduction: Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) significantly decrease fuel consumption as well as emissions, compared to conventional and CNG vehicles used today. The benefits result mainly from recuperation, reducing losses during idling, operating point optimization and start-stop. With pure electric driving, which is possible with HEVs and battery electric vehicles, noise emissions can also be reduced.
- Early adopters: Air quality and noise reduction are topics that have been attracting attention of legislators, especially in city centers. As HEVs generally have a “Start Stop function” and are quieter during the acceleration process, new business opportunities for carriers emerge through extended operation times. Under the name Piek, there exists a special work permit for extra quiet trucks during night hours, in Belgium and Netherlands.
- Tender risk sustainable transportation: A global trend towards a sustainable and resource efficient way of transportation arises through legislation and social pressure. There is already a tender risk starting in businesses like municipal services in which “green flag” vehicles have to be offered in order to win a tender. Therefore fleet operators are working towards reducing their CO2-emissions and including alternative drive vehicles into their fleets.
- Profitable niches: At the beginning of market penetration, profitability can be achieved by niche applications with suitable driving cycles (i.e. mileage, fuel consumption, frequency of acceleration and deceleration, topology). Currently, hybridization results in extra costs for the customer. This may change in the future due to increasing technical maturity, rising unit sales and declining component costs. Besides that, organizations like DHL, Coca Cola and municipal service are willing to invest in green image.
- First market Entry in City Segment: The first of the hybrid trucks emerged in Japan, in the light duty segment, around 5t. They were strongly supported by tax advantages for customers. Eventually, European Manufactures- DAF, Daimler and Renault, also started with Hybrids in the 12t segment; due to high costs these were not successful.
- First big HEV fleet expected in long haul segment: The benefits of HEV vehicles, in long haul segment, are smaller in percentage to city applications. But due to high fuel consumption and mileage, long haul trucks will be the first to be able to pay off the investment in hybrid technology. Amortization duration is currently over three years. Steadily rising fuel prices and declining component costs will further reduce the amortization time. It is expected that the first vehicles will be shown in IAA 2016.
- Key markets: Europe, Japan and North America are the key markets for hybrid trucks. While East Asian manufactures focus more on light and medium duty hybrid trucks, European and North American producers strengthen their presence in the heavy duty segment.
- Political support: Government subsidiaries and legislations play a key role in e-mobility. In the last few years global activities have been more focused on passenger cars. In China, for instance, only bus and light duty vehicles are highly encouraged by government. But recently, even commercial vehicles have been moving into focus. Stricter pollution regulations, concerning CO2 and noise, are expected for the transportation sector in the upcoming years.
- Green cities: A growing number of cities try to improve living standards by implementing “low emission zones”. One prominent example is London, where vehicles have to meet certain emission standards to drive free of charge, within most of Greater London. There are forecasts that zero emission zones will also emerge in other countries, particularly in China and Europe.
- Transport efficiency is crucial: Minimum payload reduction, reasonable costs and significant reductions of fuel consumption are the top requirements from a customer’s point of view. Depending on the segment, a limited and pure electrical range also comes in focus.
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