Asserting its claim of trucking leadership, Daimler Trucks introduced the E-Mobility Group (EMG), a new unit focusing on commercial vehicles with fully electric drivetrains. Daimler also announced two new electric-powered Freightliner models, one of which could be a competitor to the Tesla Semi.
Counting the two new Freightliners, Daimler’s EMG has six commercialelectric vehicles in its lineup, more than any other manufacturing group. Daimler’s commercial e-fleet includes four trucks and two buses.
The new Freightliner eCascadiais a heavy-duty, long-haul electric truck. According to Daimler, the eCascadia’s550 kWh batteries generate 730 horsepower and have a 250-mile range per charge. The company says the eCascadia batteries can be recharged to about 80 percent of capacity in 90 minutes,giving the freighter about 200 miles of range. The eCascadia is the truck that would go up against Tesla’s Semi, for which Tesla claims a 300-mile range for the base $150,000 version and 500 miles with the $180,000 extended range model.
The second new Daimler electrictruck is the Freightliner eM2 106, a medium range truck for local distribution and last-mile deliveries. The electric version of the M2 cranks out 480 horsepower with its 325 kWh batteries and has a 230-mile full-charge range. An additional 184 miles of range is on tap after a 60-minute, 80-percent recharge.
Daimlerannounced it would deliver 30 of the new electric Freightliner models to North American customers by the end of this year.
The other electric commercial trucks in Daimler’s EMG fleet include the FUSCO eCanterurban route truck with a 62-mile range per charge and the larger 26-ton load capacity eTruck, which has a125-mile range. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus and Thomas Built Saf-T Liner C2 Jouley school bus complete EMG’s lineup.
Daimler expects increasingdemand from its customers for electric trucks and buses. Just as the Daimler passenger car divisions are going full-forward with electric platforms, the EMG is determined to set the standard for commercialelectric vehicles.
“We are the undisputed global leader of the trucking industry, and we intend to remain in that position with electric trucks,” said Martin Daum, member of the Daimler board of management for trucks and buses. “We were first-movers on electric trucks and strive to set the standard in each relevant segment in which we compete.
“With the formation of our new global E-Mobility Group, we will maximize the impact of our investments in this key strategic technology,” Daum continued. “Thus, we can pursue the best solutions in batteries, charging solutions, and energy management.”
Also this week, Daimler announced the formation of a new Automated Truck Research and Development Center in Portland, Oregon. This center will work with personnel at two other Daimler research and development centers in Stuttgart, Germany, and Bangalore, India. The three groups focus on developing technology that will enable trucks and buses to drive autonomously.