Daimler Unveils Two Electric Commercial Trucks for U.S.
Daimler AG is preparing to launch two all-electric commercial trucks in North America in 2021.
The company’s Freightliner eCascadia heavy-duty tractor will have an 80,000-lb gross combined weight and a range of 250 miles (402 km) per charge. Intended for regional freight service, the truck offers 730 peak horsepower and a 550-kWh battery that can be charged to 80% of capacity in 90 minutes.
The eCascadia will compete directly with Tesla’s Semi truck, which is due in 2019. The eCascadia will compete directly with Tesla’s $150,000 Semi electric Class-8 truck, due in 2019. Tesla Inc. says its truck, with the same load capacity, will be able to cruise for 500 miles at highway speeds per charge.
The Freightliner eM2 106 is a medium-duty electric truck that can cover 230 miles (370 miles) per charge. The truck was developed for local food and beverage deliveries and “final mile” services, according to Daimler Trucks. The eM2 comes with a 325-kWh battery that can charge to 80% of capacity in 60 minutes.
The company plans to deliver about 30 of the two models later this year for evaluation by customers. Large-scale production is set to begin three years from now.
The two new EVs join Daimler’s eActros electric truck, the first 10 of which are being distributed to customers now. The eActros, which can travel 125 miles (200 km) per charge, is being offered in 18- and 25-metric ton versions. Daimler says serial production is likely to begin in 2021.
Separately, Daimler Truck has opened a U.S. development center in Portland, Oregon, for self-driving rigs. The facility complements similar tech centers in Stuttgart, Germany, and Bangalore, India. The American research center is part of the division’s €2.5 billion ($2.9 billion) r&d program for 2018-2019, which includes €500 million for robotic driving systems, electrified powertrains and connectivity systems.
The Tesla Model 3 is certainly one of the most controversial cars to be launched in some time, with production models (a comparative handful, admittedly) presented on a stage with a throng of people treating it like it was an event with Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, all at the same time.
The pickup-truck segment in the U.S. market is somewhat like the vehicles themselves: big.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.