EU sees rise in zero-emission heavy truck sales in 2023

The European Union witnessed a remarkable increase in the sales of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles in the first quarter of 2023. According to a report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), sales of zero-emission heavy trucks, buses, and coaches have shown an upward trend, indicating a growing commitment to environmental concerns in the transport sector.
The report highlights that out of the 2,000 new zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles sold in the EU-27, 1,000 were buses and coaches, 450 were light and medium trucks, and 500 were heavy trucks. Notably, the sales of zero-emission heavy trucks accounted for 0.6% of all heavy truck sales, doubling from the 0.3% share in the previous year. Similarly, light and medium trucks saw their shares increase to 4%, while zero-emission buses and coaches rose to 16%.

Germany and France have emerged as leaders in this transition, contributing to over half of the zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle sales in the EU-27. This surge in sales is more pronounced in smaller Member States like Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

A detailed analysis of heavy trucks, which constitute 80% of all heavy-duty vehicle sales, revealed that of the 77,000 heavy trucks sold, 500 were zero-emission models, surpassing the total sales in 2021. Most of these were rigid body trucks, with tractor trailers making up less than a quarter of the sales. Volvo Group, comprising Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks, led the market by selling over half of the zero-emission vehicles. In contrast, IVECO, MAN, and DAF, which accounted for 40% of conventional sales, sold only 4% of the zero-emission heavy trucks.

The report further breaks down the sales by configuration, powertrain, and battery capacity. The majority of zero-emission heavy trucks sold were equipped with lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) and nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries, showcasing advancements in battery technology.

Sales distribution by Member State showed that Germany led with 23%, followed by France, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands. This distribution underscores the uneven but promising adoption of zero-emission vehicles across Europe.

Finally, the report provides an insight into the market shares of manufacturers in the zero-emission and conventional vehicle segments. Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks held a significant portion of the zero-emission market, contrasting with their conventional vehicle sales. This data suggests a strategic pivot by major manufacturers towards more sustainable heavy-duty vehicles.

Overall, the first quarter of 2023 marks a pivotal moment for the EU in its journey towards reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector, with a clear trend towards electrifying heavy-duty vehicles.

Source: European heavy-duty vehicle market development quarterly: January-March 2023 | ICCT

Source: European heavy-duty vehicle market development quarterly: January-March 2023 | ICCT
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