From late last year, Daimler Trucks North America has been seeding Freighliner electric trucks. Marking a departure in the way CV manufacturers the world over have been working with their clients, the seeding of Freightliner electric trucks makes an interesting case. Starting with the display of two new fully electric trucks in June 2018, Daimler Trucks North America has begun working closely with two customers to operate its e-vehicles within their fleet. The CV major has thus handed over 30 Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 trucks to Penske Truck Leasing and NFI Industries in the US. First manufacturer in the world to test electrified trucks for all weight classes with costumers, Daimler Trucks North America is claimed to be working as a comprehensive system provider. It is said to to work with Penske Truck Leasing and NFI Industries to do route planning, development of charging infrastructure and vehicle service support. Revealing that the newly founded E-Mobility Group will use ten Freightliner e-trucks for research and development purposes to gain further knowledge about e-trucks in the US, Martin Daum, member of the Daimler Board of Management for Trucks and Buses, informed that the works with Penske and NFI Industries will enable the company to start an important phase of development as far as electric trucks are concerned.

Working closely with Penske and NFI Industries to arrive at the best solutions for the usage of e-trucks, Daimler Trucks North America, according to Daum, is keen to acquire an edge in the field of e-trucks. Terming Penske and NFI Industries as innovative, Daum mentioned, “Daimler Trucks North America is dealing with the challenge of increasing the viability of e-trucks with Penske and NFI Industries.” Of the two companies, Penske Truck Leasing Corporation is a leading global transportation services provider that operates more than 270.000 vehicles. It is serving customers from more than 1000 locations in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. With Penske, Daimler has seeded ten Freightliner eCascadia heavy duty trucks for regional delivery and ten medium duty eM2 trucks for local operations in the Northwest Pacific, and in California. Logistics specialist NFI Industries, at the other end, holds a fleet of 4000 tractors and approximately 8900 trailers in North America. Ten Freightliner eCascadias have been pledged to NFI Industries for drayage activities from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to warehouses in California’s Inland Empire metro region. Proud to partner with Daimler in development of the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet, according to Sid Brown, CEO, NFI Industries, the fleet of e-trucks are expected to help the logistics specialist and Daimler (North America) to fulfill their commitment to develop new and better products and processes.

Expected to be successful and offer significant benefits to an untold number of people and communities, the eCascadia is based on the Cascadia, which is claimed to be the most successful heavy-duty long-distance truck (class 8, 80,000 lb. gross combined weight rating (GCWR) in the North American market). At start of series production, the eCascadia will have up to 730 peak horsepower. The batteries would provide 550 kWh usable capacity, and a range of up to 250 miles. With an ability to charge up to 80 per cent (providing a range of 200 miles) in about 90 minutes, the e-truck meets the Class 8 tractor standards, and is designed for local as well as regional distribution and drayage. The Freightliner eM2, at the other end, is intended for local distribution operations and last-mile delivery services. It is a Class 6 vehicle with 26,000 lb. GCWR, and will initially have 480 peak horsepower. The batteries provide 325 Kwh of usable capacity, and a range of up to 230 miles. They have the ability to charge up to 80 per cent (providing a range of 184 miles) in about 60 minutes.

Freightliner Cascadia

Available since January 2017, the Freightliner Cascadia by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is a heavy-duty Class 8 truck that is claimed to be the most advanced truck ever produced. Forming the basis for the eCascadia, the truck follows in the foot steps of the earlier generation Cascadia and Cascadia Evolution. Developed with an investment of around USD 300 million, the truck saw 800 engineers work on it for a period of five years. Setting higher standards in connectivity, fuel efficiency and safety technologies, the truck adds to the 412,000 units sold since the launch of the first Cascadia in 2007. More than an update of the earlier generation model, according to Martin Daum, the Cascadia pushes fuel efficiency, connectivity, and safety technology to a new level, underlining in the process the technological leadership of Daimler Trucks in North America towards reduction in real cost of ownership. While developing the truck, engineers set a priority goal of achieving significant fuel savings. The fresh, aerodynamic shape with dozens of sleek new updates and advanced powertrain components contributes to increased fuel efficiency by up to eight-per cent over the earlier generation truck.

Offering the benefit of an integrated powertrain in the form of a Detroit diesel unit, the truck features Detroit Connect Analytics. It builds on well-proven features such as the Virtual Technician remote diagnostic service. The “Virtual Technician” sends a technical snapshot of the engine’s status to the Customer Service Center when warning lights turn on to help identify and solve the problem. Detroit Connect Analytics further deepens the connection between the fleet’s management, the driver and the vehicle. Analytics provides users with on-demand, automated fuel efficiency and safety analysis. By quickly identifying behaviours, trends, root causes, and key insights on fuel consumption as well as safety performance across the fleet by capturing the relevant data, repair costs are reduced and operating times increased. If the new full LED system allows for an impressive field of view at night and in bad weather conditions, the optional Detroit Assurance 4.0 suite of safety systems includes active brake assist that now provides full braking on stationary objects, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.

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