Daimler previews its battery powered eTruck

Daimler previewed its 26-tonne, battery powered urban truck at the eTruck campus in Stuttgart last week.

The truck is based on a Mercedes-Benz 6×2 chassis, and was only a partial unveil as Daimler is holding some cards ( such as the cab ) close to its chests until next month’s IAA Show in Hannover.

The Urban eTruck is still a work in progress and is expected to be in full production in “the next decade”.

Daimler say that in that time technological advancements to batteries will give the electric urban distribution vehicle a realistic working range of 200kms.

Payload will be around 1.7 tonne less than an conventional diesel but Daimler said an expected EU exemption will allow an electric 6×2 truck to go to a new maximum GVW of 27 tonne. This will reduce the weight penalty to a mere 700kgs.

Going down to lighter weights Daimler are further down the testing line with battery powered  6 and 7.5-tonne GVW FUSO Canters E-Cell, that have just completed over 50,000kms worth of testing in Portugal with no major problems reported.

Daimler has recently placed one of these test vehicles with parcel delivery specialist Hermes for real-world testing in Stuttgart.

While it is still early days Hermes reports that driver acceptance has been positive and the vehicle has performed to specification although the (100kms) range of the 7.5-tonne truck is still somewhat of an issue.

Both the eTruck and Canter E-Cell are a major step for Daimler, Wolfgang Bernhard of Daimler said: “That the time is right and Daimler are determined to be at the very forefront of this new technology, Electric trucks are now an integral part of Daimlers portfolio”.

It comes as Tesla signalled plans to introduce its own electric truck.

By Rikki Chequer