… still hard to sell.
While hybrid cars are beginning to appear in every greater numbers on our roads environmentally friendly hybrid trucks are an absolute rarity, even in the United States. In fact they are so rare that the world’s biggest fleet of hybrid trucks – owned by Fedex – only numbers around 95.
Urban environments should be ideal for hybrid trucks because of the stop-start traffic and manufacturers suggest that hybrid trucks could return some great savings in fuel but truck operators see a bigger picture than just savings in fuel. Truck operators look at the initial cost of a hybrid truck, the reliability, the cost of repairs etc. etc. and that’s where the attraction of hybrid trucks beings to fade.
While environmentally friendly cars sell in great numbers and so have an economy of scale that same economy of scale is not there for truck buyers. For example in Europe trucks such as this Renault Midlum
are produced in quite limited quantities. In Europe there are 7 brands competing for sales and each can only manage arounnd 15,000 units a year. That’s nowhere near the number at which economies of scale cut in to reduce the price.
So unless governments begin to offer subsidies to truck makers and buyers we’re unlikely to see a take-up of hybrid trucks and certainly not here in Australia.