Now, Daimler unveils electric Urban eTruck

28 Jul 2016


Following the launch of it autonomous bus last week, Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, yesterday unveiled an all-electric Urban eTruck.

Until recently the use of electric drive trains in large vehicles had been limited due to capacity and cost but with improvements in technology, the electric powertrains are now being increasing incorporated in heavy vehicles.

Three lithium-ion battery modules work in tandem, to deliver an all-electric range of about 124 miles in the eTruck.

According to Daimler it is the average daily delivery route for similar trucks.

The batteries are housed in the truck's frame, in what Daimler called a "crash-proof location."

The motors that provide the forward thrust are tucked at the wheel hubs, similar to Mercedes' Citaro hybrid bus. The Urban eTruck weighs 26 metric tons gross or about 57,000 pounds.

The Urban eTruck is, meant for city duty, given its limited range which rules out a battery-electric drivetrain for long haul trucking. Daimler gave no indication of how long it would take to charge the truck, but it could take several hours even with the fastest chargers available today according to commentators. Daimler also did not offer any indication of battery capacity.

The eTruck is a quiet vehicle like most electric vehicles, especially in comparison to a typical diesel truck.

Daimler had already heavily tested the trucks for close-range hauling with its Fuso Canter E-Cell pilot program. It sent the all-electric 4.8-tonne capacity light trucks around Portugal last fall.

According to Daimler its electric truck would not roll out until early in the next decade, according to its press release. By then, technological improvements are expected to lower battery costs by a factor of 2.5 while efficiency is expected to correspondingly grow by the same metric, according to the truck company's estimates.

Earlier this month, Daimler  unveiled a self-driving Mercedes-Benz Future Bus, which in its debut drive covered a 20km route in Amsterdam (See: Daimler unveils world's first self-driving bus).

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