Daimler showcases fully-electric heavy distribution truck

Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck enables zero-emission cargo transport with admissible total weight of 26 tonnes and 200km range


Daimler Trucks says its upcoming Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck will be the first fully-electric heavy truck model to offer a range of 200km on a single charge with an admissible weight as high as 26 tonnes – comparable to a diesel-powered model.

The German automobile giant, which recently demonstrated the model at its headquarters in Stuttgart, said in a statement that in the future, heavy trucks will take part in urban cargo distribution with zero local emissions and whisper-quiet operation.

The zero-emission Urban eTruck is based on a heavy-duty, three-axle short-radius Mercedes-Benz distribution truck but with a totally revised drive concept, the statement added. The drivetrain is a new electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs – a technology that the German manufacturer has derived from the electric rear axle it developed earlier for the Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid bus.

Power comes from a battery pack consisting of three lithium-ion battery modules, resulting in a range of up to 200km – enough for a typical daily delivery tour, Diamler Trucks said. An integrated concept with motors adjacent to the wheel hubs allows the batteries to be housed in a crash-proof location inside the frame, it added.

“With the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck we are underlining our intention to systematically develop the electric drive in trucks to series production maturity. This means that we will begin to integrate customers, so as to gain valuable joint experience with respect to the operating ranges and the charging infrastructure in daily transport operations,” said Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

The market launch of this technology is conceivable for Daimler Trucks at the beginning of the next decade, he added.

Daimler Trucks already has a fully-electric truck undergoing customer trials in the light distribution truck segment. The six-tonne Fuso Canter E-Cell truck, made by the company’s Japanese subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso Trucks and Bus Corporation, is being tested by fleet operators in Portugal since 2014 and has clocked more than 50,000km annually, in which it has reduced CO2 emissions by 37% and lowered operating costs by 64% on comparable diesel models, Daimler Trucks’ statement said.

“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. And with the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, we are now electrifying the heavy distribution segment up to 26 tonnes,” said Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the board or management responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses.

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