The world’s first all-electric heavy-duty truck is set to go into limited production later this year. The trails of this truck have begun in the German market before being rolled out to cities across Europe. First shown at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover last September as the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, the trails are in the area of short-radius distribution. It was on the sidelines of the Hannover show that Daimler sources claimed that the etruck would go into production sooner than later. Daimler has committed to putting the etruck into small scale production, with a build number initially in double figures. To be aimed at customers from different sectors in Germany and throughout Europe, the Urban eTruck has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 25-tonnes, and is claimed to have a range of up to 200 miles depending on the load and operational conditions. According to Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks worldwide, the company is currently talking to around 20 potential customers from the waste, foodstuffs and logistics sectors. “Following the world premiere in September 2016 at the International Commercial Vehicle Show the customer reaction was outstanding. With the small series, we are now rapidly taking the next step towards production. By 2020 we want to be on the market with the series generation,” he said.
With a payload of 12.8-tonnes, the Urban eTrucks will be deployed in real-life transport situations claim Daimler Sources. They point out that Daimler is looking at getting a customer feedback on how the etruck performs; on the measure of the performance of the etruck in a real-time working environment. The parameters that will be closely managed as well as observed will be the charging time, battery life, range and system configurations. Interestingly, the demo trucks, say Daimler sources, will be equipped with reefer, box and platform bodies. The etrucks will be handed over to customers along with a special charger which takes into account the increased demands on a truck. Customers would use them for a period of 12 months. During this period, Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ road testing department will support them. Said Buchner, “When it comes to future technological issues, 2017 will be our year of implementation. We are step-by-step developing the vehicles and systems to achieve market maturity.”