- Mercedes’ Urban eTruck takes permissible gross weight to 26 tonnes
- Range up to 200km with loads the same as diesel
- Series production for urban distribution trucks by 2020
STUTTGART, Germany – Daimler Trucks has shown a Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck here as the first full electric truck with a permissible total weight of up to 26 tonnes.
“This,” the truckmaker says, “means heavy trucks will be involved in almost silent urban distribution with zero exhaust emissions from 2020. Daimler Trucks has since 2014 been impressively demonstrating, with customers’ trials, the day-to-day suitability of electric trucks with the Fuso Canter E-Cell.
“The development of electric trucks and series production are fixed parts of Daimler Trucks’ strategy of bulding on our technological leadership.
“For this purpose a considerable part of the future investments by the truck division will be in the research and further development of full electric drive.”
Wolfgang Bernhard, management board member responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses, told The Corner in a media release: “Electric drive systems previously had limited use in trucks but costs, performance, and charging times have developed so rapidly that there is now a trend reversal in the distribution sector: the time is ripe for the electric truck.
“Our Fuso Canter E-Cell light truck has been undergoing intensive customer trials since 2014 but with the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck we are electrifying the heavy distribution segment up to 26 tonnes. We intend to establish electric drive as systematically as we did autonomous and connected driving.”
The United Nations Organisation, Daimler says, is predicting a global population of nine-billion people by 2050 with 70% of them living in cities.
“It will be necessary to transport goods in urban environments for increasing numbers of people with the lowest possible emissions and noise. Already large cities such as London and Paris are considering a ban on the internal combustion engine in their centres – ttat means fully-electric trucks supplying people with food and other goods.”
BATTERY COSTS SLASHED
Daimler admits that, until recently, fully electric drive for trucks seemed unimaginable because of the high cost of batteries and their short range. “The technology.” Daimler says, “has now become much more mature. In particular, battery cells are developing rapidly.”
Daimler Trucks expects the cost of batteries to reduce substantially by 2025 from those of 1997 – from 500 down to 200 Euro/kWh while performance improves from 80Wh/kg to 200Wh/kg.
Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, told The Corner: “The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck underlines our intention to develop electric truck to series production. We will begin to integrate customers to gain joint experience of operating ranges and charging infrastructure in daily operations.
“We think entry of this technology into series production will be possible by 2020.”
CRASHPROOF BATTERY PACKS
The Urban eTruck is based on a heavy-duty, three-axle, short-radius Mercedes-Benz body but with the conventional drive train replaced by a battery-powered rear axle with an electric motor next to each wheel hub being supplied from a battery pack consisting of three lithium-ion modules for a range of up to 200km – enough, Mercedes says, for a typical daily delivery tour.
The batteries, the truckmaker adds, will be in a crash-proof location inside the chassis.
The Fuso Canter E-Cell truck has been in private use since 2014 after being first shown in 2010 and is now in its second generation with operating costs down 64% from those of diesel engines.
Marc Llistosella, head of Daimler Trucks Asia and president and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Trucks and Bus Cooperation, explained: “The current (2016) generation Canter E-Cell is not only environment-friendly but also economical. Tests revealed a saving of about 1000 euros/10 000km over diesel trucks.
“We at Fuso have now acquired extensive experience in the development of emissions-free local commercial vehicles and will pursue this development. At the Frankfurt auto and commercial show in September we will take a step closer to series production for our next-generation under a new name: Fuso eCanter.”
‘E-MOBILITY IS A COMMON GOAL’
The hilly city of Stuttgart and delivery company Hermes have since early 2016 been testing five Fuso Canter E-Cell units. First results are expected in early 2017.
Dirk Rahn, Hermes operations director, said of the latest vehicle: “The results of our tests are extremely positive! We’re looking forward to testing further vehicle classes with a common goal: making e-mobility more economical.”