London-based Interact Analysis says while global market growth for off-road equipment slowed to 2.6 percent in 2020, it could recover to 6.5 percent in 2021. In the long term, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2029 is forecast to be 3.6 percent, measured by units shipped.
The firm says factors related to COVID-19 put a ceiling on 2020 growth, with only China and the agriculture market showing the type of 2020 performance that was predicted at the outset of the year.
By clearing up its virus cases in early 2020, China put itself in a position to report 37 percent growth in excavator sales and 40 percent growth in telehandler orders.
The Interact analysis, found in a report titled “The Off-Highway Vehicles Market,” divides off-road vehicles into three main sectors, including agriculture along with construction and material handling.
A precited trend in the global market is the growth of electrified powertrains, which Interact forecasts to account for more than 36 percent of shipments of off-highway vehicles by 2029.
Discussing the prospects for vehicle electrification in the sector, Alastair Hayfield, senior research director at Interact Analysis, comments, “While we predict that over 36 percent of shipments of off-highway vehicles will be electrified equipment by 2029, the overwhelming majority of these will be smaller vehicles, where battery technology is more suitable.”
Adds Hayfield, “For many of the environments where material handling typically works, such as airports and logistics centers, there is already a high demand for ‘greener’ equipment. These places will continue to adopt electrification very aggressively.”
In the construction sector, he adds, “Electrification of compact construction vehicles offers many benefits, minimizing emissions and noise levels, allowing the equipment to be used in enclosed environments such as inside buildings and in other noise-sensitive areas.
Outdoors, the switch could be slower, says Hayfield. “Electric tractors may make inroads in some agricultural scenarios, but agriculture faces other challenges on the pollution front, such as enteric fermentation – the production of methane by farm livestock, next to which pollution from diesel-powered machinery pales into insignificance”
Those seeking more information about the report, which goes into greater detail about the three sectors, can go to this web page.