Freightliner Trucks took to the stage recently to take the wraps off of two new fully-electric truck offerings. The Freightliner eCascadia is a heavy-duty truck (>15 t GVW), while the Freightliner eM2 106 is a medium-duty truck (9 to 12 t GVW), and the company says they mark the beginning of a new era in trucking.
Freightliner will have the first 30 vehicles to customers later this year for testing in real-world conditions as part of its Electric Innovation Fleet. Building on the learnings from the real-world testing, Freightliner is currently planning to commence series production of the new trucks in 2021.
Daimler Trucks has decades of experience in building high volume, durable vehicles of all types. The future looks very similar for its electric truck offerings as Daimler Trucks will offer the widest range of commercial electric vehicles of any OEM in North America.
“Our primary goal at DTNA is bringing vehicles to market that are safe, reliable and efficient. Heavy-duty electric vehicles present the greatest engineering challenges, but they also are the best learning laboratories,” Nielsen said. “We have decades of experience in successfully producing durable commercial vehicles in high volumes that stand up to the demands our customers place on them. We now bring this unmatched experience and expertise to the electric truck category.”
The eCascadia heavy-duty truck features an impressive 550 kWh of usable capacity, which yields a range of 250 miles | 402 kilometers. It can be recharged up to 80% / 200 miles / 322 kilometers in just 90 minutes, though no mention is made of the charging infrastructure required to accomplish this. The eCascadia is designed for drayage and local and regional distribution routes, and sports 730 horsepower | 544 kW of power ‘under the hood’.
On the medium-duty front, the eM2 medium-duty offering comes with 325 kWh of usable storage capacity, resulting in a range of 230 miles | 370 kilometers. Tapping into a fast-charging station allows the eM2 to charge up to 80% / 184 miles / 296 kilometers in around 60 minutes. The eM2 is purpose built for local distribution, pickup and delivery, food and beverage delivery, and last-mile logistics applications and will be right at home in many urban delivery applications.
“The Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 are designed to meet customer needs for electrified commercial vehicles serving dedicated, predictable routes where the vast majority of daily runs fall between 45 and 150 miles,” said Roger Nielsen, president and chief executive officer of DTNA. “These innovative trucks reflect DTNA’s commitment to bring practical, game-changing technology to market. The eCascadia, utilizing North America’s bestselling Class 8 platform, and eM2 106, based on one of the most in-demand medium-duty truck designs, are built on validated, series production trucks in extensive use by our customers every day.”
Daimler’s deep experience in commercial vehicle design, manufacturing, distribution, sales and support make the offerings attractive entrants into the rapidly expanding electric commercial vehicle segment for fleet managers and customers looking for a familiar name to help them clean up and green up their fleets.
Looking to the future, Daimler is leading the initiative to develop commercial vehicle charging infrastructure for North America. Charging will be a key focus on the initial pilot that kicks off later this year as the company works to define a standard for charging up the massive batteries in its commercial vehicles.
The two new Freightliner trucks join a larger family of Daimler’s commercial vehicle offerings including:
- Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 electric school bus, Jouley, with a range of up to 100 miles. Limited production starts in 2019.
- The FUSO eCanter, a fully electric Class 4 light-duty truck is already in series production with electric urban delivery vehicles being delivered to various customers in North America, Asia and Europe.
- The fully electric Mercedes-Benz Citaro is based on the best-selling Citaro platform and goes into series production in late 2018.
- The Mercedes-Benz eActros is a fully electrified heavy-duty distribution truck that will head out into the field with the first customers in the second half of 2018.