A new electric truck from Mercedes Benz has been announced in Germany. The new vehicle is said to be the first fully electric truck for heavy distribution operations. According to Daimler Trucks the market launch of this technology could be at the beginning of the next decade.
The company have already been involved with a fully electric truck in customer trials with the Fuso Canter E-Cell, trialled in Europe since 2014.
“Electric drive systems previously only saw extremely limited use in trucks,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses at the Daimler Board of Management. “Nowadays costs, performance and charging times develop further so rapidly that now there is a trend reversal in the distribution sector: the time is ripe for the electric truck.
“In light distribution trucks, our Fuso Canter E-Cell has already been undergoing intensive customer trials since 2014. And with the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, we are now electrifying the heavy distribution segment up to 26 tonnes. We intend to establish electric driving as systematically as autonomous and connected driving.”
The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is based on a standard three-axle short-radius Mercedes-Benz distribution truck. The entire conventional drivetrain being replaced by a new electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs. This is derived from the electric rear axle which was developed for the Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid bus.
The power is supplied by a battery pack consisting of three lithium-ion battery modules. The claimed range of the new truck is up to 200 km. The batteries are housed in a crash-proof location inside the frame.
“With the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, we are underlining our intention to systematically developing the electric drive in trucks to series production maturity” said Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “This means that we will begin to integrate customers, so as to gain valuable joint experience with respect to the operating ranges and the charging infrastructure in daily transport operations. Because we think the entry of this technology into the series production is already conceivable at the beginning of the next decade.”
The electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly placed next to the wheel hubs has a maximum output of 2 x 125 kW, with a peak torque of 2 x 500 Nm. In combination with the gearing in place , the torque at the wheel is claimed to reach 11,000 Nm.
The power is supplied by a battery pack consisting of three modules of lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 212 kWh. This results in a range of up to 200 km. Depending on the desired range, the modular battery pack can be customised by adding or removing batteries.
The Urban eTruck is connected to the charging station using the Europe-wide standardised Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 2 connector. Batteries can be charged to 100 per cent in two to three hours, according to Daimler.