It's that time of year again, where we simultaneously look back at the year slipping away behind us and towards the shiny new year full of promise just ahead.
There was a lot to celebrate in transportation in 2019. It was a big year for cities to buy electric transit buses and ban diesel cars from city centers (at least in Europe).
Meanwhile, automakers such as Ford launched ever more enticing electric car models such as its new Mustang Mach-E. And e-scooter riding, which can replace car trips and reduce congestion, saw unprecedented growth.
At the same, charging infrastructure emerged as the No. 1 issue holding back vehicle and heavy-duty fleet electrification this year. And transportation-related emissions likely rose this year for the fourth year in a row (the hard data doesn't come out until early 2020), continuing to represent the single largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.
So how will 2020 be different? A few market and tech trends will emerge on the horizon next year, while other transport sectors will mature and drop in cost. 2020 should be a really interesting year for the transformation of transportation. Here are 10 trends I'm watching:
1. Big companies tart buying more electric truck fleets: More retailers and shippers will place large orders of electric trucks for beverage routes, last-mile delivery and short-haul distribution. Amazon surprised everyone this year when it announced that it plans to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from startup Rivian, while UPS, FedEx and DHL have all bought electric trucks in smaller numbers. Anheuser-Busch placed an order for 21 BYD electric semi-trucks this year, which looks like the largest order for class 8 electric trucks in the United States.
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