EU sees rising sales of ZEV heavy duty trucks

Chinese manufacturers begin to grow market share in bus sales

EU sees rising sales of ZEV heavy duty trucks
Sales of zero emissions buses grew faster than any other segment

The number of zero emissions heavy-duty vehicles sold in the EU more than doubled to 11,000 in 2023, according to a report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

The majority of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle sales occurred in three countries: Germany (30pc), France (15pc), and the Netherlands (15pc).

But the share of sales in these three countries has been steadily decreasing from over 80pc in 2016 as new countries have entered the market. 

Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and Portugal have all been growing sales since 2020.

Portugal experienced the most rapid growth, with sales increasing from four zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles in 2022 to 400 in 2023 — almost all of which were buses.

The sales figures are split into heavy trucks, light and medium trucks and buses. 

Heavy trucks 

Sales of heavy trucks were at 2,600 in 2023, a threefold increase from the 820 sold in 2022. Battery-electric heavy trucks formed 1pc of the overall sales of heavy trucks in the EU.

The multinational Volvo Group, which consists of Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks, produced 70pc of all zero-emission heavy trucks—up from 63pc in the third quarter of 2023—while accounting for less than a quarter of conventional vehicle sales.

Volvo Trucks has recently expanded its electric range with two new models – the FH Aero Electric and the FM Low Entry. 

Light and medium trucks

Sales of zero emissions light and medium trucks — those with a weight between 3.5 tonnes and 12 tonnes — grew by 200pc from 1,000 in 2022 to 3,100 in 2023 — the largest year-on-year growth of the three segments.

The Ford Otosan E-Transit made up 60pc of zero-emission vehicle sales in this segment in 2023. 

Buses and coaches

Sales of buses and coaches grew 16pc to 5,300 in 2023, with the leading ZEV manufacturers in the segment being MAN, Solaris, and Karsan, which each had 12pc of sales.

Some countries such as Ireland, Denmark and the Netherlands saw all sales of city buses being ZEVs in the fourth quarter of 2023 as cities in these countries undertook initiatives to reduce urban air pollution. 

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Domestic manufacturers have historically been the dominant suppliers of conventional diesel-powered heavy-duty vehicles to the EU — producing 98pc of the heavy trucks, 80pc of light and medium trucks, and 90pc of buses sold between 2013 and 2023. 

“With the rising demand for zero-emission powertrains, this market dynamic is beginning to shift and foreign manufacturers are stepping in to supply increasing numbers of vehicles,” says the report. 

This is particularly the case in the bus and coach segment, where the share of zero emission buses sold in the EU from manufacturers headquartered in China increased from 10pc in 2022 to 30pc in 2023.

Most of these were sold by BYD and Yutong – with new entrants Guangtong and Zhong Tong also growing their market share towards the end of 2023.

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