Freightliner eCascadia goes into production

In News, Daimler4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 13, 2022

Daimler Truck North America has revealed the production version of the battery-powered Class 8 Freightliner eCascadia.

The second-generation Freightliner eCascadia comes with a full complement of infrastructure support including eFill chargers from its Detroit technology subsidiary.Based on the Cascadia, Daimler built and shared a test fleet of 30 electric versions for concentrated drayage. NFI Industries went back and forth from Chino, California, to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Penske Truck Leasing delivered packages in Southern California.

A 10-truck customer experience fleet provided one-off trials with nearly 50 fleets nationwide. They included Schneider, J.B. Hunt Transport and Bison Transport.

Production of two runs of pre-series eCascadia begins in Portland, Oregon, later this year. Daimler has more than 700 orders, most of which will be built and delivered in 2023. Daimler will add its eM2 Class 6 medium-duty electric truck to its lineup a year from now.

Some of the second-generation trucks, with typical single-charge range of 368km, will replace first-gen models that could travel about 240km before needing to be plugged in. Some of the dedicated experience fleet operated by NFI and Penske accumulated 80,000 to 160,000km each.

The second-gen truck offers three battery sizes with charging times of as little as 90 minutes for 194kWh to up to six hours for a 483kW powertrain. Two electronic axle designs are available. With a dual motor, maximum torque is 31,183Nm (23,000lbft) generating maximum 294kW (395hp). A single motor creates max torque of 15,591Nm (11,500lbft) and max 145kW 195hp.

Developments from Daimler’s Detroit technology subsidiary coming in Q4 abound in the eCascadia. A charger management system will track how the truck complies for purchase grants received — electric trucks cost two to three times as much as diesel-powered models — and Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits.

The management system also will automatically display the driving range over the course of a proposed trip. It analyzes load, weather, traffic and road gradient. A post-trip analysis will make suggestions for how to improve performance next time. Over-the-air remote software updates carry over from the Cascadia.

Consulting services come in Baseline, Powerline and Megaline packages. They cover everything from setting up behind-the-fence charging to chasing down rebates and selecting sites.

Freightliner carried over advanced driver safety systems from its conventional Cascadia, including Detroit Assurance Active Brake Assist. The eCascadia features Active Side Guard Assist, which activates when the truck is moving less than 19kph to prevent a right turn when a pedestrian or motorist is detected on the passenger side of the truck.

Other safety features include active lane assist to keep the truck centred and active steer assist that helps reduce effort in tight turning situations. At highway speeds, it senses and holds steering on steep crowned roads and during heavy crosswinds. In case of a tire blowout, active steering keeps the steering centred while the vehicle is pulled to the side of the road.