Mercedes launches fully-electric heavy truck

Car-maker Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the Urban eTruck, which it claims is the first fully electric truck with a total weight of 26 tonnes.

The vehicle was unveiled in the German city of Stuttgart by Mercedes’ parent company Daimler this week.

Mercedes truck

Car-maker Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the Urban eTruck

According to the manufacturer, the Urban eTruck has a range of 200 miles.

Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, responsible for Daimler Trucks and buses at the board of management, said: “Electric drive systems previously only saw extremely limited use in trucks. 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 company revealed the vehicle is based on a version of the heavy-duty short-radius Mercedes-Benz distribution truck.

A battery pack consisting of three lithium-ion battery modules powers the truck.

Daimler Trucks has been testing the “suitability” of the vehicle in consumer trials with the Fuso Canter E-cell since 2014.

The first generation of electrically powered trucks was trialled in 2010, with the second generation fleet being tested in Portugal in 2014.

‘Economical’

Marc Llistotella, head of Daimler Trucks Asia and president and chief executive of Mitisubshi Fuso trucks and bus cooperation, said: “The current generation Canter E-Cell offers our customers transport services which are not only environment-friendly, but also economical. Our test in Lisbon revealed respectable savings of around 1000 euros per 10,000 kilometres in comparison to diesel trucks.

“We at Fuso have now acquired extensive experience in the development of local emission-free commercial vehicles und we will consequently pursue this development also in future.

“At the Commercial Vehicles show IAA in September, we will take a step further towards series production with our next generation under the new name Fuso eCanter.”

Since April 2016 Daimler Trucks have been testing, five Fuso Cater E-Cell’s alongside parcel service provider Hermes in Stuttgart. The full results of the consumer trails are expected next year.

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