Making good on its push for electrification, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will ship a number of Urban e-trucks to German customers this year for real-world tests
Marking a bolder leap than its passenger vehicles, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is bringing the world´s first all-electric heavy-duty truck to market. 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, the first vehicles will be delivered to customers this year.
Stefan Buchner, global head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks added that: “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.”
Although the truck that can carry 12.8 tonnes, it remains “quiet as a whisper,” the company says. It will initially be produced in a “low two-figure number” of units –ElecTrans assumes much lower – to customers in Germany, and later in Europe, where it will be used in “real transportation applications.”
It is hoped that this real-world use will enable the firm to optimise the vehicle concept and the system configurations. Tests will include use in shift operation, charging times plus battery and range management.
Keep on truckin’
Mercedes does not appear to be shying away from the actual duties required. 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 which takes into account the increased demands on a truck” the vehicles will be used by Mercedes-Benz customers for a period of twelve months and supported by its 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. Around 150 vehicles will be handed over to selected customers in Europe, Japan and the USA.
Rapid technical development is supporting this trend. Daimler Trucks expects the costs for the batteries of an all-electric truck to fall by a factor of 2.5 from 1997 to 2025 – from 500 euros per kWh to 200 euros per kWh. At the same time, it forecasts that the energy density of available batteries will rise by the same factor from 80 Wh/kg to 200 Wh/kg.