July Truck Orders and Electric Vehicles | Weekly News Update

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Class 8 Orders in July Reach All-Time High

In July, class 8 truck orders hit an all-time monthly high.  Orders surpassed 52,400 trucks which was roughly triple the levels achieved in July of last year.  The previous record was 52,194, which was set back in March of 2006.  This rapid increase in truck orders is creating a bottleneck for the truck manufacturers and pushing delivery dates well into 2019.  Over 90% of the orders made in June of 2018 are set to deliver in 2019.

Electric Vehicle Race

There were several news stories this week regarding the adoption of electric vehicles.  On Tuesday, United Parcel Service (UPS) announced a partnership with Thor Trucks Inc.  Thor Trucks is a Los Angeles – based company developing the ET-One Truck (class 8 electric truck) to compete with Tesla and other major OEMs.  The two companies will collaborate on building, developing, and testing two medium duty electric trucks.  One will be a class 6 truck with a range of approximately 100 miles.  The other will be a delivery truck with a range of roughly 50 miles.  The trucks are expected to be deployed at the end of 2018.  This is a large part of UPS’s plan to roll out about 9,300 low-emission vehicles that will be powered by battery electric, hybrid electric, and natural gas.

Toyota also announced round two of the development of a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV).  This is the second iteration of the class 8 truck.  The new project expands the capabilities of the first truck by extending the range more than 100 miles to achieve 300 miles per fill.  This version also includes a sleeper cab and a “unique fuel cabinet combination that futher increases cab space without increasing wheelbase”.  The first iteration of the FCEV logged nearly 10,000 miles in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.  The second iteration will take the feedback from the prior model to increase the capabilities and efficiencies of the truck.

In Other News


CCJ: EPA Backs Down on Glider Policy Change, Will Enforce Annual 300-Truck Cap

Nixing a decision issued just three weeks prior, the U.S. EPA said it will enforce the 300-truck annual limit placed on glider kit manufacturers by Phase 2 emissions regulations, meaning glider kit makers will be handicapped in their production until the EPA finalizes a rule to repeal the Obama-era regulations, which took effect January 1.  Also see, Trump Administration Cites Safety to Freeze Mileage Standard

Journal of Commerce: Indian Truckers End Strike After Government Deal

The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), which claims to represent nearly 10 million truckers nationwide, took vehicles off the roads July 20 to pressure the government to address their concerns regarding diesel fuel taxes, insurance premium costs, toll systems, and direct port delivery (DPD) services that they see as a disruptive factor.

Reuters: How BP found shale profits with ‘crystal ball’ oilfield technology

In the pine forests of eastern Texas, oilfield workers equipped with virtual-reality goggles are helping BP’s shale business turn a profit for the first time.

Reuters: U.S. Sees Little Impact from Keystone XL Pipeline’s Planned Route

The Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project cleared a hurdle as the Trump administration said that an alternative route through Nebraska would not do major harm to water and wildlife.

CCJ: Paper Transport Flips the Script for Trip Planning

Leadership at Paper Transport Inc. saw an opportunity to develop technology that flips the breadcrumb trail in the opposite direction. Instead of reporting what happened, the new technology gives drivers forward-looking breadcrumbs for trip planning and provides customers with accurate ETAs for greater shipment visibility.

WSJ: Bigger Oil Pipelines Are Coming to West Texas to Ease Bottleneck

For months oil producers in shale country in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico have been battling bottlenecks that have prevented them from getting some of their crude to customers, but relief is coming soon.


Bloomberg: Oil Drives Canada’s Fastest Economic Growth Spurt in a Year

Gross domestic product increased by 0.5 percent in May, Statistics Canada said Tuesday from Ottawa, exceeding expectations for a 0.3 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Oil was a key driver, with non-conventional crude output jumping 5.3 percent as more production came back online after shutdowns. Nineteen of 20 industries showed gains, including retail sales rising 2 percent on the heels of weakness in April linked to cold weather.

Reuters: UPS Partners with LA-based Startup to Develop Electric Delivery Truck

UPS will deploy an electric, medium-duty truck that was developed with the help of LA-based Thor Trucks, Inc. later this year. The truck will have a driving range of 100 miles with a light weight battery. The class-6 delivery truck will be tested during a 6-month pilot, after which time UPS may commit to additional orders from Thor.  Also see, UPS agrees to help develop, test new Thor electric delivery truck

NGT News: Toyota Announces Round Two of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Class 8 Truck

Toyota has unveiled the second iteration of its hydrogen fuel cell electric Class 8 truck.  The new truck, known internally as “Beta,” expands on the capabilities of Toyota’s first Project Portal test vehicle by increasing the estimated range to more than 300 miles per fill.

Transport Topics: Uber Suspends Self-Driving Truck Effort to Focus on Autonomous Cars

Uber announced July 30 that it was, for now, parking its effort to develop commercially viable self-driving trucks in order to focus on bringing autonomous cars to its service.  Also see, Uber turning off autonomous truck division


WSJ: Canada Scales Back Carbon-Tax Plans

Canada’s Liberal government is scaling back elements of its planned carbon-tax regime to address worries from the business community about global competition.


FreightWaves: Pilot Flying J Expands Reach Into Oil and Gas Service

Pilot Flying J, the largest North American operator of travel centers and the fourth-largest tanker fleet in the US, announced two strategic partnerships to grow its service offerings in the exploration and production (E&P) sector. Through a joint venture and an acquisition, PFJ is extending its core logistics business with additional water, sand, and crude hauling capabilities.

Transport Topics: Class 8 Orders in July Reach All-Time High of 52,400

Class 8 orders in July set an all-time monthly high and soared past 52,000 as the crush continues. Orders hit 52,400, ACT Research Co. reported, citing a preliminary figure it will adjust when final data is out.

Platts: US senators propose sanctions on Russian oil production investments

Six US senators Thursday unveiled a new bill that would prohibit support of Russian crude oil production and transactions in new energy projects supported by the Russian government, placing new hurdles on future output.


CCJ: In Capacity Crunch, Fleets Using Trailer Technology to Move More Freight

The market may be ripe to expand fleet capacity, but driver shortages and other constraints are making it necessary to get more from available resources.  Trailer management technology is one lever that companies are pulling to add more capacity without buying more equipment and hiring more drivers.

Platts: OPEC July crude oil output surges 340,000 b/d from June to 32.66 mil b/d

Saudi Arabia pumped close to its all-time high in July and several of its OPEC brethren posted their largest crude oil output figures in more than a year and a half, as the bloc appears to be following through on its agreement to unleash more barrels on the market.

Reuters: China Plans Tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. Goods in Latest Trade Salvo

China proposed retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft as a senior Chinese diplomat cast doubt on prospects of talks with Washington to solve their bitter trade conflict.

This weekly publication is designed to highlight relevant industry news to provide professionals in the transportation, supply chain, and energy sectors with up-to-date information in a rapidly changing marketplace. This update is purely a compilation of industry news and as such, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breakthrough. We do not warrant or guarantee accuracy or completeness of information. For additional information, please contact us at info@breakthroughfuel.com.

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