Mercedes Benz has unveiled the world’s first fully electric heavy-duty truck. The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is a 26-tonne lorry with a 200km range. Mercedes’ electric truck is the first of its kind in its class. The eTruck also sees the german carmaker beat Tesla to the punch in this vehicle category.
Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck
Parent company Daimler Trucks revealed the new truck in Stuttgart on July 27 to wide coverage. In a press release accompanying the unveiling the company also detailed some of the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck’s capabilities:
The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is a fully electric 26 Tonne
Maximum travel ranges of up to 200 KM (124 miles)
Production conceivable within the next decade
Designed for heavy duty loads in urban environments
Light duty Fuso Canter E-Cell currently undergoing trials
In its announcement, Daimler notes that conditions are now much more conducive to the production of fully electric trucks. Noting that electric drive systems had only seen limited use in trucks, now the falling cost and improved performance and charging times of e-vehicles make it feasible to produce a fully electric lorry.
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, who is responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses at the Board of Management had this to say in the press release;
“Electric drive systems previously only saw extremely limited use in trucks. Nowadays costs, performance and charging times develop further so rapidly that now there is a trend reversal in the distribution sector: the time is ripe for the electric truck. In light distribution trucks, our Fuso Canter E-Cell has already been undergoing intensive customer trials since 2014. With the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, we are now electrifying the heavy distribution segment up to 26 tonnes. We intend to establish electric driving as systematically as autonomous and connected driving,”
The Whispering Lorry
As can be surmised from its name, the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is designed for heavy duty lifting in urban environments. The company has put off serious production to the beginning of the next decade. However, it also already has a smaller truck undergoing customer trials.
Daimler is currently trialling the Fuso Canter E-Cell, a 6-tonne, fully electric light distribution truck. Looking to the future of transportation in urban environments, Mercedes has made a giant leap forward. As the company itself states, “heavy trucks will take part in urban distribution operations with zero local emissions and hardly a whisper”
As the world moves to electric vehicles as a cleaner fuel, heavy-duty trucks are now catching up to their smaller counterparts.
In that light it seems that Mercede-Benz is simply staking its claim as the war between carmakers for the future of the industry hots up. Consequently, it is the consumer and our environment that will benefit from such cutting-edge innovation.
Innovative Battery Technology and Enhancement
When it comes to the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, Daimler isn’t letting up. The company is currently working towards electrifying the 26-tonne lorry to achieve the same capabilities of conventional trucks.
In addition significantly lower costs, Mercedes has also taken advantage of innovative technologies to improve battery capacity and charging times. The company sees electric trucks as part of the answer to growing urbanisation and eco friendly requirements.
The more silent and environmentally friendly trucks are a sign of traditional carmakers now rising to the challenge of creating electronic alternatives for current transportation.
Most of all, Daimler praised the progress made on the truck’s battery technology. As much as the cost of the power sources have gone done, their efficiency has risen at the same levels. As a result, the automaker sees that barrier lowering fast enough for the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck to enter production in the future.
The etruck’s entire drivetrain will be replaced by the new electrically driven rear axle. The fully electric truck will feature electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs powered by a battery pack consisting of three lithium-ion battery modules. Furthermore, Mercedes claims the current power will last up to 200 km, – enough to cover a typical delivery day.
The vehicles baterries will be housed in a crash-proof section in the frame of the truck.As a result of the switch to an all electric powered drivetrain the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is a serious contender in its vehicle class.
Fuso Canter E-Cell points to the Future of Heavy Duty Trucks
Daimler was also keen to highlight the success of its Fuso Canter E-Cell light duty truck. The vehicle is powered by an all electric drive and is 64% cheaper to run. Fuso Canter trucks also regularly exceed distances covered by fossil fuel trucks in their category. Mercedes is also currently seriously undertaking fleet trials of its smaller truck.
One partner working on the Fuso trials is Courier company Hermes. Dirk Rahn, Managing Director Operations at Hermes Germany had this to say about the project: “We are very proud of our successful cooperation with Daimler in the development of relevant future technologies. Also regarding the current project, we accepted with pleasure the invention of Daimler.
We actively support the testing of the Fuso Canter E-Cell out of our logistical everyday life. Thereby, the results of our test run are extremely positive! With regard to the growing requirements in city logistics we are now looking forward to test further vehicle classes. Our common goal: making e-mobility more economical.”
Consequently, it’s reassuring to see major carmakers try to tackle larger classes of vehicles in the race for electric power use. The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is a good omen for future transportation.
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