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Data: IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Why Nikola isn't collapsing

Source: Nikola Motor Company

A new note from RBC Capital Markets explains why electric and hydrogen truck startup Nikola may be poised to succeed despite now-departed founder Trevor Milton's allegedly false claims about its progress and tech.

Details: Instead, "What made NKLA unique was [the opportunity] to sell 'routes' via fuel cell truck leases, and helping industry solve 'chicken and egg' problem associated with hydrogen infrastructure build-out."

California moves to phase out new gasoline-powered cars

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is issuing an executive order that seeks to eliminate sales of new gasoline-powered cars in his state by 2035, a move the White House said President Trump "won't stand for."

Why it matters: California is the largest auto market in the U.S., and transportation is the biggest source of carbon emissions in the state and nationwide.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 23, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Zooming in on China's new energy plan

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Major climate news arrived on Tuesday when Chinese President Xi Jinping said China would aim for "carbon neutrality" by 2060 and a CO2 emissions peak before 2030.

Why it matters: China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter. So its success or failure at reining in planet-warming gases affects everyone's future.