Here Are the Easiest and Toughest Commercial Vehicles to Decarbonize

A new study explores the challenges facing medium- and heavy-duty vehicle market policies.

April 07, 2022

Gas Guzzling Truck

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Fuels Institute announced a new study that explores the challenges that the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (MHDV) market faces on the road to decarbonization, partnering with Guidehouse Insights.

The study “The Easiest and Hardest Commercial Vehicles to Decarbonize” is intended to inform the broad community on the nuances of MHDV decarbonization. Guidehouse Insights identified the top five and bottom five applications for MHDV decarbonization as a function of technology readiness. The firm quantified each market’s impact on the overall U.S. MHDV market and contribution to U.S. MHDV greenhouse gas emissions.

Vehicle types and sizes are diverse, customization is frequent, and operating conditions present myriad and nuanced challenges for various decarbonization solutions, says the Fuels Institute.

"The MHDV market policies, targets and expectations cannot be the same as those for light-duty vehicles because the MHDV market is vastly more complex," said John Eichberger, Fuels Institute executive director. "Legislators, regulators and corporations need to understand this complexity as they set targets for policy and design incentive mechanisms for market suppliers."

The report is free to download.

Earlier this year, the Fuels Institute released a report evaluating the life-cycle carbon emissions of electric, internal combustion and hybrid electric vehicles.

The report, “Life Cycle Analysis Comparison – Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles,” evaluates the life-cycle environmental impact of three vehicle types: battery electric vehicles, internal combustion engine vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. It compares the energy sources that power them, the effect of external variables on life-cycle carbon emissions and the corresponding total cost of ownership that affects consumers.

The Fuels Institute was founded by NACS and is a nonprofit research-oriented think tank that evaluates market issues related to vehicles and the fuels that power them, incorporating the perspective of diverse stakeholders to develop and publish peer reviewed, comprehensive, fact-based research projects.