Survey finds trucking fleet executives aren’t sold on hydrogen fuel cell trucks

Survey finds trucking fleet executives aren’t sold on hydrogen fuel cell trucks

October 24, 2018 0 By Erin Kilgore

A Fleet Advantage online survey reveals what fleet executives think about clean-powered trucks.

Electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks are not believed to be a viable option for future fleet truck businesses, according to the findings of a Fleet Advantage online survey. The Florida-based company, engaged in truck fleet business analytics, lifecycle cost management and equipment financing, surveyed 1,000 fleet operators.

The company’s annual benchmarking survey of trucking fleet executives covered a variety of topics.

The survey covered a variety of topics, including fuel economy trends, how executives view maintenance and repair (M&R), safety and driver retention as well as the outlook for electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks.

According to the survey’s results, 40% of respondents said that their top motivating factor for acquiring new trucks is maintenance and repair. M&R was also the top motivating factor in the last benchmarking survey.

However, M&R costs are not the only concern weighing on the minds of fleet executives. Many (26.7%) also believe that a safe, well-maintained truck is the most beneficial in terms of driver recruitment and retention.

That being said, the second top motivator for truck replacement was fuel economy (36.7%). This is particularly important as 86% of respondents said they have experienced a consistent rise in fuel economy in model years 2013 – 2018.

Less than 5% of survey respondents said they were procuring electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks.

Regarding the survey’s questions about electric and hydrogen trucks, only 4% of respondents said they are currently acquiring these types of trucks. More than half of respondents (53%) revealed that they either do not see the value in these trucks or that they will not consider investing in the technology for at least another decade.

Moreover, 21% of respondents said they believe hydrogen or electric trucks will never be used on a large sale for over-the-road operations. The reasons, according to 39.4%, is that the technology is not worth considering because of limited electric charging stations and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Meanwhile, 33% said that they lack confidence in the range or fuel economy of these vehicles.

“There continue to be several important issues shaping today’s transportation industry, many of which prompt fleets to make decisions that can greatly impact everything from their ability to attract drivers to their financial bottom line,” said president and CFO of Fleet Advantage, Brian Holland, reported Construction Equipment.

hydrogen fuel cell truck - Truck on roadHolland added that gaining a better insight into how industry professional view topics like fuel economy, truck replacement, electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks, “helps us better understand where their asset strategies are headed.”