China dominates electric trucking
To say that China dominates the electrified trucking market would be kind of an understatement, but the vehicle sales appear poised to grow more globally — and soon.
The big picture: The vast majority of annual sales are in China, while in the U.S. and Europe, "most heavy-duty electric truck activity is in demonstration and customer trials," the International Energy Agency notes in its latest snapshot of electric vehicle trends and policies.
- Tesla plans to bring its semitruck into volume production. More broadly a suite of companies — including startups and legacy players like Daimler — hope to scale up production of battery-powered models.
- Most recently there's been a burst of attention on the startup Nikola Motors, which is planning to start building battery-powered and hydrogen fuel-cell models.
- Nikola says it has 14,000 preorders for its fuel-cell heavy-duty truck slated to begin production in 2023, and a spokesperson tells me they're mostly in the U.S., Europe and Canada.
What we're watching: The shifting policy landscape could broaden adoption outside China, where vehicle electrification has lots of domestic policy support.
- Later this month, California regulators will consider plans to mandate major increases in deployment of zero-emissions trucks.
- European climate regulations are expected to drive increased sales there, while Joe Biden has signaled that heavy vehicles would be one focus of his climate policy.