- Major developments in the second quarter of 2018 have seen the largest on-highway truck manufacturers accelerate their electrification plans. Daimler and Volvo have both launched electric trucks for regional and short haul applications. Daimler has also created a dedicated division to develop electrification across all its truck brands.
- Volvo Penta, a major supplier of engines to marine and industrial applications, also announced that it would deliver hybrid and full electric solutions by 2021. Again, this represents a major strategic shift for Volvo Penta as it begins to transition away from diesel.
- Volkswagen Truck & Bus will rebrand as TRATON. Whilst there is no immediate outlook for electrification, the rebranding exercise is ahead of an IPO to raise additional funds. A focus for ‘TRATON’ will be sustainable transportation and it seems reasonable to assume further announcements on electrification and autonomy investments can be expected.
- Kubota has released a micro-hybrid product for the off-highway sector. Featuring a down-sized diesel engine, it has the same form factor as an existing engine and servicing requirements. It is aimed at differentiating Kubota from its competitors and providing machine builders with an ‘easy’ path into emission compliance and electrification.
- Major new electric truck and bus projects have been confirmed over the last quarter. Major fleet operators and vehicle rental agencies are amongst the new customers, as well as public transport operators. A significant ramp in volumes is now anticipated before 2020.
- Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers are positioning themselves to be able dominate global markets. Nearly 100,000 battery electric buses were sold in China in 2017. Companies like BYD, Dongfeng, Shandong and FDG are investing in electrification technologies across their organisations and are increasingly winning business in global markets.