Pike Research Forecasts 300,000 Medium- and Heavy-Duty Hybrid Trucks and Buses Worldwide by 2015; 63% CAGR


World markets for HEV/PHEV/BEV medium- and heavy-duty trucks 2010–2015. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.

Pike Research forecasts that worldwide sales of medium- (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric trucks are will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63%, with sales of almost 300,000 vehicles during the period from 2010 to 2015.

While North America is currently the leading region for hybrid trucks, Asia Pacific will take the lead in 2011, driven by growth in both Japan and China, according to the report. Pike Research forecasts that the United States will remain the largest singular market for hybrid trucks and buses between now and 2015, followed closely by China.

Within the past couple of years, manufacturers have significantly increased their development of hybrid electric and hydraulic hybrid drivetrains for the medium- and heavy-duty truck segments. These hybrid vehicles promise a reduction in fuel consumption between 5% and 50% depending on design, which will help reduce costs and emissions, making hybrid trucks more and more attractive for fleet managers.

Fleet managers are actively seeking tools to insulate themselves from growing fuel costs and increasingly stringent emissions regulations but at the same time they do not want to compromise on vehicle requirements. Many new hybrid truck designs introduced in the next few years hold strong potential to strike a balance between efficiency, cost, and performance.

—Pike senior analyst Dave Hurst

Truck classifications
Trucks are classified based on the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of their chassis.
In the US, weights are separated into classes 1-8. Medium-duty (MD) trucks fall into classes 2b to 6 (8,501 to 26,000 pounds GVW), which roughly match the European weight classes N1 and N2.
Heavy-duty (HD) trucks are classes 7 and 8 (26,000 pounds or more) and European class N3.

Pike Research’s analysis further indicates that both hybrid and battery electric vehicles have good potential for the medium and heavy-duty truck classes. Fleets that need to cover expansive territory while carrying heavy-duty loads will likely adopt hybrid technology to help contain the costs of the battery. On the other hand, fleets that have a set delivery or commuter route will likely gravitate toward battery electric technology.

Within the heavy-duty truck market, the plug-in hybrid is not likely to see strong growth as BEV and HEV numbers grow, according to the report. Fleets that need to cover expansive territory while carrying HD loads will likely adopt HEV technology to help contain the costs of the battery. Fleets that have a

set delivery or commuter route will likely gravitate toward BEV technology.

Pike Research anticipates that the HD plug-in hybrid truck market will grow to 2,213 vehicles globally in 2015, but this market will be dwarfed by the HEV HD truck market, which will see its numbers grow to 13,938 vehicles, and by BEV trucks, which will reach 4,354 vehicles in 2015. Worldwide, the market for hybrid and plug-in MD and HD vehicles is expected to grow to 103,940 vehicles by 2015.

Pike Research’s study, “Hybrid Trucks and Buses”, analyzes the opportunities and challenges in the market for hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. The report provides an examination of five types of hybrid and battery technologies, along with key drivers of demand from medium/heavy-duty truck fleet customers:

  • Hybrid electric
  • Plug-in hybrid electric
  • Battery electric
  • Mild electric power take-off (EPTO) hybrids (i.e., no electric traction, but all PTO equipment powered by battery)
  • Hydraulic hybrid

The report also explores global government regulations related to diesel emissions and hybrid purchase incentives.

It includes detailed forecasts through 2015 for commercial vehicle registrations, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric medium and heavy-duty trucks segmented by country and world region, as well as bus fleets for the United States. Key market players are also profiled.

Pike Forecasts More Than 4.7M Electric Vehicle Charge Points to Be Installed Worldwide by 2015; China to Represent More Than 1/3 of Global Market


Projected EV charging station unit sales by region. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.

In a new report, Pike Research forecasts that a total of 4.7 million electric vehicle charge points will be installed worldwide during the period from 2010 to 2015 to support the transition to plug-in vehicles. Pike Research forecasts that annual revenue from EV charging equipment will reach US$1.8 billion in 2015.

Pike anticipates that the Asia Pacific region will be the world’s largest market for EVs and charging equipment. The governments of China, Japan, and Korea have all promised to invest in EV charging infrastructure and are providing incentives toward the purchase of EVs. China, which in 2009 became the world’s largest automotive market, will represent more than one-third of the global market for charging equipment, according to Pike.

In the United States, charging equipment sales during the first few years will be dominated by government purchased or subsidized sales, Pike says. Pike Research expects that sales to commercial entities, such as retailers, will be limited initially due to a lack of a clear revenue model.

The distribution of charging equipment sales will vary by region, according to Pike. With a higher percentage of the population having access to convenient home charging in North America, residential EV equipment sales will represent more than two-thirds of sales in that region. In Europe and Asia, where a much larger percentage of the population lives in multi-unit housing (apartments and condominiums), standalone charging equipment will represent

the majority of sales.

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the market for EV charging equipment is likely to become increasingly crowded by the end of 2011. While the initial wave of vendors was led by niche vendors such as AeroVironment, Better Place, Coulomb Technologies, and ECOtality, heavyweight technology players such as GE, Panasonic, Samsung, and Siemens are now making strong moves into the space.

Since initiating its coverage of the EV charging equipment sector in 2009, Pike Research has downgraded its forecast slightly to the current level of 4.7 million charge points installed between 2010 and 2015, from its original estimate of 5 million charging stations during that period.

Pike senior analyst John Gartner comments that this is due to a somewhat slower projected rate of sales for EVs, in addition to the continued lack of a clear business model for public charging stations.

The economics of selling a few kilowatt hours per charge are very challenging, and as such we anticipate that public charging station deployments will be driven mainly by government initiatives over the next several years.

—John Gartner

Pike Research’s study, “Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment”, analyzes technology and business issues related to the buildout of EV charging infrastructure in global markets. It examines the market for residential, public, private, and workplace charging stations as well as reviewing the key operational and technological impacts of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles on the grid. Analysis includes an in-depth assessment of market drivers and barriers, along with profiles of charging infrastructure vendors and utilities. Detailed forecasts for EV charging equipment are included through 2015.

Coal and the future of Chinese transportation

Electric cars powered by coal-generated electricity could increase CO2 emissions and other forms of pollution in China.

China’s pollution problem.

The downside of cheap coal

When it comes to the future of the auto industry and personal transportation, China is quickly becoming the world’s most important country. Consequently, every major automaker is aggressively seeking to establish and/or to grow their business in this ever-important country.

Even more interesting, for many reasons China has also been seen as a key piece of the battery-powered automotive revolution. A new study, however, casts some doubt on that potential.

According to a Tsinghua/Argonne Study plug-in electric vehicles in China will increase CO2, SO2 and NOx emissions – possibly even significantly – without a major and costly cleanup of China’s coal-powered electric grid.

“As analyzed in this work, it is the current high emissions of power plants that are going to make EVs a less favorable option than other alternatives in China, such as HEVs, which are more environmentally friendly, more commercially mature, and less cost-intensive. Currently, in the Chinese vehicle market, taking products of the BYD Company as an example, HEVs (20,000-25,000 US dollars) are much more expensive than conventional ICEVs (8000-10,000 US dollars) of equivalent size, but the price of EVs is even higher (>30,000 US dollars). The costs and benefits of different technological options need to be further explored.”

Plug-in batteries electrify foreign oil realities

A research at Argonne testing lithium-ion technologies.

The next lithium breakthrough?

An Argonne researcher testing the lithium potential

In the next decade or so many battery researchers believe that new lithium batteries, potentially offering 500+ mile plug-in vehicles, are inevitable. Labeled lithium-air, such batteries offer up to ten times the storage as today’s lithium batteries – easily providing as much energy as a gasoline tank today, while also providing easy and quick refueling.

Unfortunately, even after overcoming the breakthroughs needed to achieve this battery technology, many more years will be required to transition this battery from small electronics into automobiles.

In the interim, battery powered vehicles will be dependent upon lithium-ion technologies, and while chemistries may vary, the costs and potential of today’s lithium-ion technologies are relatively well known. Battery engineers at Argonne Laboratory, for instance, have been testing lithium-ion batteries for decades as manufacturers around the world have perfected scalability, resulting in cheap and extremely powerful laptops and cell phones throughout the world.

Based upon these decades of experience, analysts today assume that scale and manufacturing improvements will result in huge price declines for the battery packs in battery-powered vehicles – as much as 65 percent or more. Nevertheless, according to the same experts and consumer surveys, eventually commodity pricing on battery materials makes lithium-ion battery packs unable to scale to a point that can compete with conventional vehicles for most consumers.

Consequently, by 2020, most analysts believe that pure EVs will account for between 1 and 10 percent of vehicles sales. Plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids, however, could bring the total battery-powered – even if just partially – fleet up to a share of 20 percent or more.

While 20 percent battery-powered by 2020 is exciting, such an adoption rate ensures that petroleum dependence will be around for a very long time. For instance, even if every auto produced today were a pure EV, it would still take up to 2 decades to replace our current 200,000,000+ (a very low ball estimate) fleet of gas guzzlers with 10,000,000 new EVs per year. Realistically, however, such a replacement is decades away, which means the legacy of gas-guzzling will be around for many more decades.

None of this is an argument against plug-in vehicles.

Nevertheless, if foreign oil dependence is a serious issue facing America and its future, then it must be accepted that plug-in vehicles have serious limitations, particularly in the next few decades, to resolve this problem. Obviously, plug ins are an important and an increasingly significant piece of the solution, but still just a piece. As a result, one must eventually ask, can America thrive under another 3, 4 or even 5 more decades of significant foreign oil dependence?

Is America’s goal plug-in electric vehicles or clean, entirely domestic energy?

Can any goal be achieved if there is never a deadline for its achievement?

One day all vehicles will be electric, whether that is because of new batteries, dynamic charging, battery swapping, cheap hydrogen, etc. or some combination of all of the above is and will be unknown for some time. More important, however, that future might require 40 or 50 years to achieve its full potential, which brings up the most critical question of all: Does America have another 40 or 50 years to achieve foreign oil independence?

Tsinghua/Argonne Study Finds That Mass Use of EVs in China Could Result in Higher CO2 and Criteria Pollutant Emissions Than Conventional and Hybrid Gasoline Vehicles Due to Coal-Fired Generation of Electricity


Fuel-cycle SO2 emissions of EVs compared to those of gasoline ICEVs and HEVs in China, current (left) and future (right). Credit: ACS, Huo et al. Click to enlarge.

A new study by researchers from Tsinghua University (China) and Argonne National Laboratory (US) concludes that the mass use of electric vehicles in China could result in multiple environmental issues, including higher emissions of CO2 and criteria pollutants than from conventional and hybrid gasoline vehicles, because electricity is generated primarily from coal in China. The study was published online 24 May in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The study examined the fuel-cycle CO2, SO2, and NOx emissions of EVs in China in both current (2008) and future

(2030) periods and compared them with those of conventional

gasoline vehicles and gasoline hybrids. The researchers found that while EVs do offer a very promising solution to energy issues due to their replacement of petroleum fuels, for now “the high pollution levels of coal-fired power plants will trade off EVs’ potential energy benefits in China”.

The vehicle population in China was about 63 million by 2008, and it is projected to be 550-730 million by 2050, 38-83% higher than that of the US in

2050. One important question raised is how to accommodate this large number of vehicles in terms of energy sources. Today in China one frequently proposed answer is electric vehicles (EVs), which could alleviate dependence on

petroleum by using other energy sources such as coal and

hydro…Nowadays, China is considered to be a very promising market for EVs.

The power of EVs is electricity from the grid. While EVs can offer attractive benefits in petroleum reduction, they could result in more CO2 emissions than conventional vehicles because of the fact that the majority of electricity

is generated from coal in China. Another concern associated

with EVs is that they could increase emissions of criteria pollutants like SO2 and NOx because power plants are believed to be the largest contributor to China’s SO2

and NOx emissions.


Generation mix of the six interprovincial power grids in 2008. Credit: ACS, Huo et al. Click to enlarge.

China comprises six large interprovincial power grids: Northeast China, North China, Central China, East China, Northwest China, and South China. Coal and hydro are the two major energy sources of power generation in China, and the split between them varies by region. Coal-based power dominates in the Northeast and North generation mixes, with a proportion as high as 95-98%. The Northwest, Central, and South mixes consist of more than 22% hydro power, although coal is still the majority. The South and East grids also have 5% nuclear


Among the findings of the study:

  • CO2. EVs do not promise

    much benefit in reducing CO2 emissions currently, but greater

    CO2 reduction could be expected in future if coal combustion

    technologies improve and the share of non-fossil electricity

    increases significantly.

    The regions with smaller fractions of coal-based electricity should be the priority EV markets, such as the South, Central, and Northwest regions. As an example, the authors said, EVs are a good choice for Chongqing (Central) and Shenzhen (South), but HEVs would be a better choice than EVs for Beijing (North)

    and Shanghai (East) in terms of CO2 emission reduction.

  • SO2. Powered by the current electricity mix, EVs could cause a significant increase in SO2 emissions by 3-6 times relative to ICEVs and 5-10 times relative to HEVs. Gasoline vehicle exhausts contribute very little to total national SO2 emission (0.2% in 2006) but if they are replaced by EVs, the contribution would rise to 2-4%.

    EVs will pose a new challenge to China’s target of controlling the total amount of SO2 emissions. In the future, even with more advanced combustion technologies and 100% FGD penetration, the SO2 emissions of EVs would still be 1.3-5 times the emissions of ICEVs and 3-7 times the emissions of HEVs. Even with an additional 100% coal washing, which is infeasible in practice, it is not possible to bring the SO2 emissions of EVs down to

    the level of ICEVs and HEVs for most regions in China.

    —Huo et al.

  • NOx. China is currently implementing the Euro III vehicle emission standard nationwide (except for some large cities where Euro

    IV is already in effect, such as Beijing). The Euro IV and

    V standards are expected to be in place within 10 years. If charged by the current electricity mix, EVs would double the NOx emissions of Euro III gasoline vehicles. By 2030, the study found, EVs will still increase NOx emissions by 16-86% compared to Euro V gasoline vehicles if the penetration of SCR for NOx treatment at the coal plants is zero. If the application ratio of SCR reaches 20%, EVs charged by the generation grid with 50% coal-based electricity could have lower NOx emissions than gasoline vehicles.

    EVs charged by higher coal-intensity generation grids would

    require higher SCR penetration, e.g., electricity with 80% coal

    will need at least 44% SCR penetration. The widespread

    application of SCR will be the key for EVs to compete with

    gasoline vehicles in terms of NOx emissions.

    —Huo et al.

As analyzed in this work, it is the current high emissions of power plants that are going to make EVs a less favorable option than other alternatives in China, such as HEVs, which are more environmentally

friendly, more commercially mature, and less cost-intensive. Currently, in the Chinese vehicle market, taking products of the BYD Company as an example, HEVs (20,000-25,000 US dollars) are much more expensive than conventional ICEVs

(8000-10,000 US dollars) of equivalent size, but the price of EVs is even higher (>30,000 US dollars). The costs and benefits of different technological options need to be further explored.

—Huo et al.

The authors make several recommendations to make EVs a more attractive environmental option for China, including:

  • Special strategies for emission control of coal-fired power plants as the development of EVs progresses;
  • Designation of appropriate places with low carbon electricity for the introduction of EVs.
  • Wide application, with financial support of the government, of advanced

    coal combustion technologies, as well as technical measures

    to remove pollutants (such as SCR and coal cleaning).

…because power plants have a longer

lifetime than vehicles, the technology shift in the power sector

could be slower than that of the transportation sector.

Therefore, coordinated policies between these two sectors

are needed to reinforce EVs’ progress toward a cleaner future.

—Huo et al.

The work was supported by the National Natural Science

Foundation of China.


  • Hong Huo, Qiang Zhang, Michael Q. Wang, David G. Streets and Kebin He (2010) Environmental Implication of Electric Vehicles in China.

    Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP doi: 10.1021/es100520c

CODA to Site Automotive Li-ion Battery Manufacturing Facility in Ohio Pending DOE Loan

CODA, a California-based electric car and battery company, plans to build an automotive-grade lithium ion battery system manufacturing facility in Ohio. CODA is considering several sites within Ohio for the facility, which could employ more than 1,000 initially.

Construction of the facility is contingent upon finalizing an incentive package with the state of Ohio and the approval of an application for a Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan (ATVM) to be submitted soon.

Lio Energy Systems, a joint venture between CODA and Lishen Power Battery, would operate the facility. Lio Energy Systems currently operates a one-million square foot facility in Tianjin, China with the production capacity to produce more than 20,000 battery packs per year.

The proposed facility in Ohio would replicate this facility. CODA will be the majority and control shareholder of the US venture.

CODA is slated to begin delivering its all-electric car in the fourth quarter of this year and anticipates that it can deliver more than 14,000 vehicles to customers by the end of 2011.

Volkswagen Group Takes 90.1% Stake in Italdesign Giugiaro

The Volkswagen Group will take a 90.1% stake in Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A. (IDG), including the brand name rights and patents. The shares are being acquired by Audi’s Italian subsidiary Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. The remaining shares will stay in the possession of the present owner family Giugiaro.

The Volkswagen Group has enjoyed successful cooperation with IDG for many decades. Giugiaro made a name for himself not only with the Golf I, but also with concepts for important models such as the first Volkswagen Passat, Scirocco or the Audi 80. A comprehensive development framework agreement was concluded in 2008. Volkswagen and IDG are also collaborating closely on ongoing projects such as the planned Volkswagen Up! model family. Implementation of the agreement is also subject to the standard approval by the relevant authorities.

A new era in the strategic partnership between our companies begins today. Italdesign becomes a permanent member of the global Volkswagen family. The Volkswagen Group will be continuing its model initiative over the coming years and will benefit from the capacity and competence of Italdesign. The company will therefore be making an important contribution to our 2018 global growth strategy.

—Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG

IDG was founded in Turin by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Aldo Mantovani in 1968. Both founders are considered pioneers of modern Italian automobile design. Italdesign has also acquired a reputation worldwide as a highly-competent development center. Today, the company generates sales of more than €100 million and has a workforce of some 800 employees.

OOIDA participates in CCMTA stakeholder meeting

OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Joe Rajkovacz attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, May 16-20 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Meeting topics involved hours of service, electronic on-board recorders, speed limiters and motor carrier evaluations.