May 26, 2021. Clean technology consulting firm and producers of the annual Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA) has updated its annual State of Sustainable Fleets report with the 2021 Market and Trends Brief, an analysis examining the current state of today’s leading on-road clean vehicle technologies for fleet operators. The assessment’s findings are sourced via hundreds of survey results from medium- and heavy-duty fleet operators across the U.S. as well as industry data and the author’s independent technical analysis.
The 2021 State of Sustainable Fleets assessment confirmed that, even in an extreme outlier year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth of clean technologies continued to rapidly accelerate, with an increase in fleet orders and deliveries for natural gas and battery-electric vehicles as well as for lower carbon renewable fuels. Fleet survey data found that many clean vehicle technologies and fuels are providing both economic and environmental sustainability benefits when each fuel and technology is best matched to the right application and duty cycle. The analysis indicates that the coming years will be strong for the growth of the sustainable fleet technology sector with 83% of surveyed early adopter fleets indicating they plan to increase their use of clean vehicle technologies in the next five years.
Produced with support from the report’s title sponsors Daimler Trucks North America, Penske Transportation Solutions, and Shell Oil Company, and supporting sponsors Cummins, Inc., DTE Energy, and Geotab, the report offers additional insights into the key trends shaping the clean vehicle market. The assessment focuses on the leading sustainable fuel and vehicle technologies being adopted in the medium- and heavy-duty fleet sectors: gasoline/diesel fleet and engine efficiency, natural gas vehicles, propane vehicles, battery-electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, and renewable fuels for each of the technology options. The analysis covers public, private, and for-hire fleets, including school, municipal, shuttle, urban delivery, refuse, public utility, transit, regional-haul, and long-haul sectors.
Fleets reported significant business benefits when clean vehicle technologies are mature and appropriately suited to their sector, including fuel cost savings, improved total cost of ownership, and reduced maintenance. The improved environmental performance of these technologies also remained a benefit consistently confirmed by surveyed fleets. The year’s assessment concludes that leading fleet operators are utilizing a mixture of clean technologies along with incumbent fuels and efficiency measures, enabling them to realize immediate emission reductions while satisfying their own increased commitments on sustainability, and demands from customers for the same. This diversified technology landscape has created a multi-fuel near-term reality for many of today’s fleets.