Mercedes-Benz Trucks bringing the world´s first all-electric heavy-duty truck to market

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 16, 2017

Following the presentation of the Urban eTruck with 25 t perm. GVW and a range of up to 200 km at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in 2016, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will deliver the first vehicles to customers this year.

Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks worldwide, said the customer reaction following the show was outstanding.

“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.”

The Urban eTruck has zero emissions, is quiet, and has a payload of 12.8 t, offering an impressive economical and environmentally friendly concept. The vehicle will initially go in a low two-figure number of units to customers in Germany, and later Europe. It will be used in real transportation applications and Mercedes-Benz says 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.

“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,” said Buchner.

In order to depict the various application possibilities, 18- and 25-tonne models will be equipped with a refrigerated body, as a dry box body and as a platform vehicle. Together with a special charger that 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 and supported by Mercedes-Benz Trucks‘ road testing department. During this time the use profiles and areas of application will be recorded and the knowledge gained and expectations compared.

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.

Increasing urbanisation and better economy of the battery technology are paving the way for all-electric trucks, and 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. During the same period the energy density of the available batteries will rise by the same factor from 80 Wh/kg to 200 Wh/kg.