Boulder, Colorado – Sales of medium- and heavy-duty hybrid and electric trucks will nearly double in 2012, according to Pike Research.

The clean tech market intelligence firm said that the worldwide market for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks will grow at 92 per cent this year, with total sales surpassing 19,000. Going forward, Pike expects the market to experience a compound annual growth rate of 47.2 per cent between 2011 and 2017, reaching 100,746 truck sales by the end of that period.

“The performance of specific economic sectors will play a big role in the growth of electric drivetrains for trucks,” said senior analyst Dave Hurst. “For example, as the retail industry rebounds, pickup and delivery vehicle sales will rebound with it. This in turn will have a positive impact on the hybrid, plug-in and battery electric truck markets as well.”

Driving sales will be fleet owners’ desire to demonstrate that their vehicles are more environmentally friendly than competitors’ fleets, and government emission regulations that have a bottom-line cost impact on fleet operators. At the same time, the accelerating speed of alternative fuel vehicles such as natural gas will pose significant competition for hybrid and electric truck growth, especially given the relatively high upfront costs of electric vehicles. This trend is likely to continue in 2012, particularly in European and developing Asian markets, the company said.

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