Despite government policies encouraging alternative fuels, utility fleets' usage of alternative fuels remains low and stagnant.
Over the past few decades, there has been an increase in hybrid vehicles offerings and alternative fuel options. There has also been a push from the government towards the use of more environmentally-friendly vehicles and fuels. Despite this increase in options and in governmental support, utility fleets are still slow adapters to newer technologies. A recent data analysis by Utilimarc, a fleet data and telematics company, discovered that alternative fuels' market share in utility fleets has been stagnant around 5-6% for the past five years.
For their analysis, Utilimarc analyzed data of 38 gas and electric utility companies across the U.S. in 2017. In total, they reviewed the data for 45,827 vehicles. They discovered that even with the popularity of alternative fuel vehicles, gas and diesel still dominates this field with 93.8% of the market share. Interestingly enough, their findings showed that alternative fuels were not only increasing in popularity, but their percentage of market share had actually decreased by 11.4% since 2012.
There is some hope. Utilimarc did find that in 2017, there was a slight increase in alternative fuels usage. With the industry purchasing more hybrid and electric sedans every year, these percentages of market share are expected to slowly increase over time. Still, sedans only make up 7.43% of the light-duty utility fleet mix, which is dominated by pickup trucks. In order for alternative fuel use to really grow, they must be utilized across all types of vehicles.
"In order to truly electrify the Industry’s light-duty fleet, original equipment manufacturers will have to offer a competitive alternative to traditional pickups, vans, and SUVs. Until that happens, gas fleets will be unstoppable," the company report concluded.