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Sales of natural gas trucks is on rise

Heavy-duty natural gas trucks have been on the rise throughout 2022. Sales of natural gas trucks have increased 18% from where they were in 2021, according to the ACT Research’s Alternative Fuel Quarterly. Sales have increased, but have also been uncertain and varied throughout 2022, as reported by Commercial Carrier Journal.

It only takes looking at three months over the summer to realize the variableness of natural gas truck sales. June, July, and August of 2022 saw significant differences from their 2021 sales. June plunged 33%, July saw a 204% increase, and August jumped 20%.

Steve Tam, who works as ACT Research’s vice president, further broke down the disparate prices.

“In the near term, June was relatively benign compared to May (-4%), while July spiked 82% month-over-month,” he said. “Unable to maintain, volumes pulled back 33% from July to August. Combined, sales in the three-month period extended and increased the year-to-date gain.”

There has been a clear increase of natural gas truck sales, but any pattern has been challenging to establish. To add to the uncertainty of the natural gas truck market, natural gas fueling stations are on the decline. As of September, there is 822 public compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations in the United States and 54 liquid NG (LNG) stations, according to Tam.

“This translates to 15 fewer public CNG stations and no change to the number of public LNG stations since mid-June 2022,” he said. “Given the existing station count’s downward trajectory, it isn’t a surprise that planned CNG stations are also contracting.”

The number of planned public CNG stations dropped 38% in comparison to data from 2021. But there are also private CNG stations that can provide natural gas.

“It is worth noting that private U.S. stations also exist and are being planned,” Tam said. “These currently include 4,572 existing stations and six planned sites, a decrease of 31 existing stations from last quarter, but we presume these are temporarily offline, rather than shuttered.”