Biggest Zero-Emission Trucks Hit Market at Accelerating Rate, Boast Impressive Ranges

May 18, 2021

New data & analysis from CALSTART’s Drive to Zero tracks zero-emission commercial vehicle model offerings globally

PASADENA, Calif. – The biggest zero-emission (ZE) trucks are hitting the market at an accelerating rate. The number of available and announced models of new ZE heavy-duty trucks is expected to grow from 40 to 71 in the United States, Canada, China and Europe between 2020 and 2023 – a nearly 80 percent increase over just three years. During the same time period, the number of ZE commercial vehicles on the market in the United States, Canada, China and Europe is expected to grow nearly 30 percent, with 468 models on the market in 2020 and 606 models projected for 2023.

“The pace of battery technology advancement is happening faster than we thought and battery costs are also dropping faster than anticipated. As a result, newly available zero-emission trucks generally and heavy-duty zero-emission trucks in particular are shifting toward commercialization at an accelerating pace,” said Dr. Cristiano Façanha, Global Director of CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero (Drive to ZeroTM) program and campaign.  

These new figures come from Drive to Zero’s Zero-Emission Technology Inventory (ZETI), an interactive online tool that tracks the growth of the ZE commercial vehicles globally, as measured by model availability. Full details can be found here. As a companion piece, CALSTART is also releasing a new briefing paper, How Zero-Emission Heavy-Duty Trucks Can Be Part of the Climate Solution, which analyzes the progress of ZE heavy-duty trucks on the road to commercialization. One key indicator both examine is driving range.

Today most commercially available ZE heavy-duty trucks are capable of driving 300 kilometers on a single charge. This range is ideal for urban deliveries, drayage and other operations that do not require extreme ranges. Additionally, ZE heavy-duty trucks, capable of going 600 kilometers on a single charge, will be available this year and in 2022. In 2023, those with ranges of more than 1000 kilometers will be on the market.

“Most nations – even those considered global climate leaders – have not yet set ambitious targets for zero-emission heavy-duty trucks even as they set strong goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions,” said Dr. Façanha. “This data demonstrate that range and model availability are improving rapidly even in the largest zero-emission trucks. National climate action plans can and should reflect this new reality by setting strong manufacturing, adoption and incentives for zero-emission trucks and infrastructure.” 

Additional new findings from today’s new data release include:

  • The overall number of available ZE commercial vehicle models is on a strong upward trajectory globally despite the economic impacts of the global pandemic. The number of available models is projected to rise from 468 in 2020, to 557 in 2021, to 594 in 2022, to 606 in 2023.
  • When compared to the global market, the United States will see an even sharper uptick in available ZE heavy-duty truck models on the market  from 2020-2023, rising 250 percent from just 8 models in 2020 to 28 models on the market in 2023.
  • 25 out of 36 of the largest (12+ meters) ZE transit buses now on the market have average ranges that hover around or higher than the average needed range needed (150 miles).
  • 114 out of 119 of ZE medium-duty trucks (MD step van, MD trucks) on the market have ranges that hover around or higher (>80 miles) than the average needed range.
  • 67 out of 119 of ZE medium-duty trucks now on the market (MD step van, MD truck)have average ranges (>150 miles) that are well over the average range these vehicles travel in a day.
  • In the 10-15-meter and less than 10-meter bus categories there are multiple available ZE transit bus models at or higher than is needed in terms of average range.

“In addition to improvements in model availability as well as range, we are also seeing costs come down very quickly for electric trucks,” said Dr. Façanha. In fact, the latest projections show electric trucks will be less expensive to own and operate by 2025-2030.

First launched in 2020, ZETI creates a foundation for better understanding the developing ZE commercial vehicle segment. Drive to Zero is constantly updating and expanding the tool to reflect the evolving ZE commercial vehicle market.

CALSTART’s Drive to Zero program and campaign aims to drive market viability for ZE commercial vehicles in key vehicle segments in urban communities by 2025 and achieve full market penetration by 2040. The program and campaign enjoys the support of more than 100 government, city, industry, fleet and utility partners including the nations of Canada, China, Chile, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden as well as  BYD, New Flyer Industries, ARRIVAL, IKEA Retail (Ingka Group), Ryder, Black and Veatch, Siemens, the California Air Resources Board, the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Oslo, Vancouver and many others.

A full list of Drive to Zero pledge signatories can be found here.

Follow our Twitter handle – @TeamDriveToZero – to track new ZE commercial vehicle data and trends and receive program updates.

CALSTART | Changing transportation for good

A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado and California, CALSTART partners with 270+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient and clean high-tech transportation industry. We knock out barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.

Contact: Roxanna Smith | 510.326.0390 | [email protected]