Toronto, Ontario – A new study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers has found that while public awareness of emissions, fuel consumption and related changes in consumer behaviour are typically key market drivers for car manufacturers, truck manufacturers have kept out of the public debate and are tending to treat the environmental issue as a regulatory burden which they must meet the same way as regulations for such things as road safety and noise regulation.
The study, The truck industry’s green challenge: headwind or competitive edge, examines the effects of the increasingly important trend for truck manufacturers to address eco-friendly solutions. According to the study, transport efficiency is still the core factor that drives customer purchasing decisions. Increasing resource constraints, fluctuating fuel prices, and stricter emission standards will have a negative effect on transport costs and thus efficiency, which will in turn drive truck purchasing decisions accordingly.
“The three main stakeholders dealing with resource constraints and climate change in the truck industry, forming a triangular network, are truck manufacturers, regulators, and transport and logistics companies,” said Todd Thornton, of PriceWaterhouseCooper Canada’s Transportation and Logistics practice. “This network is characterized by different regulatory requirements between countries, fluctuating oil prices contributing to total transportation cost, which is a key criterion affecting commercial vehicles’ total lifecycle costs, and political and public pressures on the industry to significantly reduce emissions, requiring innovative engine technologies that are impacted by different standards around the globe.”
The study results indicate that truck purchasers see the manufacturers as being responsible for CO2 reduction, and are willing to pay a premium for goods if delivered by a “green” transport mode. Expertise in clean and fuel-efficient propulsion technology will generate a significant competitive edge, while innovative solutions will develop for powertrains, lightweight construction, improved vehicle aerodynamics, and new telematics and transportation concepts aimed at increasing infrastructure utilization.