A Clean Future for Heavy Duty Vehicle Powertrains is Within Reach
A myriad of new powertrain technologies are competing to usurp diesel as the heavy duty vehicle powertrain of choice. Of these, FTI Intelligence finds that the economic case for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains in the US market will be favorable faster than previously expected.
When buying a class 8 heavy duty vehicle (HDV), the key purchasing criteria used to be only the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the vehicle. The TCO was an effective metric for evaluating legacy technology which demonstrated little variation in revenue generating potential. These days, however, we stand on the precipice of seismic change in all transportation sectors as the need to decarbonize grows more urgent by the day. To evaluate these technologies we should no longer consider just the TCO but should consider it alongside the revenue generating potential and emissions reduction potential of the new technologies.
In this paper we will explore the key factors behind the adoption of new powertrain technologies and develop a timeline for their adoption. Our analysis indicates that battery electric and hydrogen vehicles will become the most favorable powertrain technologies within the decade. To support uptake within this timescale, heavy investment will be required across the value chain, particularly in model availability, charging and refueling.