ACT Research’s 63rd Seminar: Electrification Coming to Commercial Vehicles

The final day of ACT Research’s three-day virtual Seminar 63 was held on August 13. The day’s first panel featured trucker and commercial vehicle dealer representatives, who shared insights into the challenges facing the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the key aspects of equipment trends, prospects for the industry, the road to recovery, effects on used truck values, a carrier’s ability to acquire new trucks, and trends in freight rates. The second panel discussion focused on alternative power in the commercial vehicle industry, including advances in technology, customer interest in sustainability targets, and governmental green regulations.

ACT Research holds two seminars per year for the benefit of its N.A. CV OUTLOOK subscribers. The N.A. CV OUTLOOK is a robust report that forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next 1-5 years, with the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and investment firms the information needed to plan accordingly for what is to come. The report provides a complete overview of the North American markets, as well as takes a deep dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production, and backlogs, shedding light on the forecast. Information included in this report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium and heavy-duty trucks/tractors, and trailers, the macroeconomies of the US, Canada, and Mexico, publicly-traded carrier information, oil and fuel price impacts, freight and intermodal considerations, and regulatory environment impacts.

Jim Meil, ACT’s Principal, Industry Analysis, moderated the alternative power panel and summed the discussion by saying, “While time frames differ on speed or magnitude of adoption, the consensus of the panel was that electrical powertrains are the wave of the future for commercial vehicles.”

Used 08.17.20 (2)

One of the topics considered by the panelists was the pandemic’s impact on alternative power adoption. Meil noted, “The COVID-19 recession, in some respects, is a setback for vehicle electrification. It makes buyers risk averse, and pushes back development plans and funding. On the other hand, the dramatic improvements of viewlines, thanks to clean air in Los Angeles or New York, dramatically illustrates the potential benefits of a clean, green vehicle fleet.”

When asked about the importance of regulations to the adoption of electric powertrains by the commercial vehicle industry, Meil commented, “The regulatory push for EV has its role. But ultimately, the success of electrification, the ability to gain market share, hangs on the strength of the business case, as measured by total cost of operation (TCO). The players in electrification are confident they can make the TCO case versus incumbent internal combustion engines in some applications today, and in even more applications near term, 1 to 3 years.”

Additionally, ACT announced upgrades to its no-cost, online total cost of ownership calculator, which now includes the societal costs in metric tons of CO2 per year. The calculator can be accessed by clicking here.

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at

ACT’s 64th Seminar is scheduled for February 23-25, 2021. Focused on the continuous evolution and advancement of power and energy changes in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets, OUTLOOK Seminar 64 will feature key industry leaders such as Ryan Reed of Wabash National, John Bennett from Meritor, Lance Riegel of Marvin Johnson, and Dominick Beckman from Hino Motors. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for February’s event. When details are available, they may be found at

Click below to:

Get additionally information about ACT’s NA Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK.

Back to Blog

Related Articles