Merc rolls out eTruck

Daim­ler group pre­pares for ci­ties with a zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy to­wards diesel

The Witness - Wheels - - TRENDS - — Wheels Re­porter.

STUTTGART — This year, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is bring­ing the world’s first all-elec­tric heavy-duty truck to market in a small se­ries.

The first Ur­ban eTrucks, all with 25 ton GVW and a range of up to 200 km, will be de­liv­ered to cus­tomers this year.

Ste­fan Buch­ner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks worldwide, said the release fol­lowed on the out­stand­ing cus­tomer re­ac­tion the truck re­ceived at its world pre­miere at the In­ter­na­tional Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Show last year.

“We are cur­rently talk­ing to around 20 po­ten­tial cus­tomers from the dis­posal, food­stuffs and lo­gis­tics sec­tor.

“With the small se­ries we are now rapidly tak­ing the next step to­wards a se­ries prod­uct.

“By 2020 we want to be on the market with the se­ries gen­er­a­tion,” Buch­ner said in a state­ment.

The Ur­ban eTruck will ini­tially go in a low two-fig­ure num­ber of units to cus­tomers in Ger­many and later in Europe too.

The aim is to use ac­tual ap­pli­ca­tion sce­nar­ios and re­quire­ment pro­files to­gether with the cus­tomer to fur­ther op­ti­mise the ve­hi­cle con­cept and the sys­tem con­fig­u­ra­tions of the elec­tric truck. The tests will in­clude use in shift op­er­a­tion, charg­ing times plus bat­tery and range man­age­ment.

The Mercedes-Benz elec­tric truck takes the fight to the Amer­i­can up­starts Nikola Mo­tors, which last year De­cem­ber made good on their prom­ise to launch a zero-emis­sion truck in Amer­ica in the form of the Nikola 1; as well as Tesla Mo­tors, which com­pany re­port­edly poached a few of Daim­ler’s su­per truck de­vel­op­ers to re­alise Elon Musk Master Plan, which in­cludes a hy­dro­gen-pow­ered truck.

Buch­ner said Daim­ler now sets the stan­dards for all these trucks with re­gard to elec­tric and au­ton­o­mous driv­ing plus con­nec­tiv­ity.

“2017 will now be our year of im­ple­men­ta­tion: step by step we are de­vel­op­ing the ve­hi­cles and sys­tems to achieve market ma­tu­rity,” Buch­ner said.

The Ur­ban eTruck is part of a com­pre­hen­sive elec­tric ini­tia­tive from Daim­ler Trucks. The light-duty elec­tric truck Fuso eCan­ter will be in use in a global small se­ries in 2017. Around 150 ve­hi­cles will be handed over to se­lected cus­tomers in Europe, Ja­pan and the U.S.

The zero emis­sions from the Ur­ban eTruck makes it a good bet in ci­ties like Paris, Lon­don and Am­s­ter­dam, where city coun­cils have an­nounced all diesel ve­hi­cles will be phased out in the next four years.

Rapid tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment is sup­port­ing this trend: Daim­ler Trucks is ex­pect­ing the costs for the bat­ter­ies of an all-elec­tric truck to fall by a fac­tor of 2,5 from 1997 to 2025 — from €500/kWh to €200/kWh.

At the same time. Daim­ler pre­dicts the en­ergy den­sity of the avail­able bat­ter­ies in this pe­riod will rise by the same fac­tor from 80 Wh/kg to 200 Wh/kg.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

Mercedes-Benz’s all-elec­tric Ur­ban eTruck is ready for ci­ties like Paris, Lon­don and Am­s­ter­dam, where city coun­cils have an­nounced all diesel ve­hi­cles will be phased out in the next four years.

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