Merc to offer world’s first heavy-duty electric truck this year
Published: 22 February, 2017
The world’s first heavy-duty electric truck – the Urban eTruck – will be delivered by Mercedes-Benz Trucks to the first customers this year.
Initially, a few units will go to customers in Germany, with more to follow elsewhere in Europe later. They will be deployed in real-life transport operations with lessons learned from genuine applications and customer feedback being used to optimise the truck. The tests will include use in shift operation, charging times plus battery and range management.
The Urban eTruck has 25 tonnes gvw, a range of up to 200km and it offers zero emissions, quiet operation and a payload of 12.8 tonnes. It was launched at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in 2016.
Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks worldwide, said: ‘The customer reaction was outstanding. We are currently talking to around 20 potential customers from the disposal, foodstuffs and logistics sectors. 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.’
‘When it comes to future technological issues we have set the standards in the sector, for instance 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.’
To cover as many uses as possible, 18 and 25-tonne models of the Urban eTruck will be equipped with refrigerated, dry box and platform bodies. With a special charger which takes into account the increased demands on a truck, the vehicles will be handed over to the customers to use for a period of 12 months, during which they will be supported by Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ road testing department.
The heavy-duty electric truck is part of a comprehensive electric initiative from Daimler Trucks. The light-duty FUSO eCanter electric truck will be in use in a global small series in 2017.
Daimler Trucks said rapid technical development reducing costs for the batteries is driving the development of all-electric vehicles, adding that it expects costs to have fallen by a factor of 2.5 between 1997 and 2025 – from €500/kWh to €200/kWh. At the same time the energy density of the available batteries in this period will rise by the same factor, from 80Wh/kg to 200Wh/kg.