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July 14, 2014 9:00 AM, EDT
Alt Fuel-Powered Vehicles to Make up 14% of Worldwide Sales by 2035, Study Shows
Ryder System Inc.

Alternative fuel-powered heavy- and medium-duty vehicles will make up 14% of vehicles sold worldwide in 2035, according to a new study.

The total number of heavy- and medium-duty vehicles is expected to double between 2014 and 2035 according to the study by Navigant Research. The percentage running on diesel will fall from 79% in 2014 to 76% in 2035.

Alternatives to diesel include natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and electricity.

“Natural gas has a significant advantage over most alternative fuels, in that low fuel costs and advances in infrastructure for both liquefied natural gas and fast-fill compressed natural gas make the fuel competitive in all market segments, including heavy-duty longhaul trucking,” Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research, said in a statement.

The shift to alternative fuel-powered vehicles is due in part to rising fuel costs as well as environmental concerns, according to Navigant.

“Though the [medium- and heavy-duty] segment commands a small portion of the total vehicle landscape, it consumes a far greater portion of the total fuel and energy consumed in the road transportation sector because of the low average fuel economy and high annual mileage typical of MHDVs. The MHDV markets’ dependency on oil has pushed governments to examine programs that will speed the adoption of alternative-fuel technologies,” according to the report.