Mercedes-Benz, one of the biggest and most trusted names in the auto industry has already outlined their plans to start the production and sales of an electric heavy duty truck in about 5 years. This news was released one week after investors failed to be impressed by the initial sketch of the battery powered commercial vehicles from Tesla Motors.
This anticipated breakthrough will be named as the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, which is expected to have a range of around 200 kilometers or 120 miles for every battery charge, with a capacity of loading as much as 26 metric tons. These figures have been shared by Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. This model that is meant for performing inner-city tasks like supermarket deliveries, will soon be going on sale by the start of the next 10 years, they added.
More and more truck makers are now starting to come up with electric models in order to meet the tighter rules for emission in most city centers although the choices are still limited because of the lack of batteries that have the durability of propelling fully loaded vehicles for extended periods of constant use.
The trucks that are tested include the 6-ton Canter eCell from Fuso brand of Daimler as well as a model from Scania, a Swedish competitor, which is being powered by the overhead electric cables. On the other hand the startup name in the United States, Nikola Motor, has also outlined their plans of unveiling the battery powered prototype by December this year.
The Daimler Trucks division’s head, Wolfgang Bernhard, said in a statement prior to the model’s presentation in the company’s hometown Stuttgart, Germany that up until now, there were very few commercial vehicles that have electric powertrains. Bernhard added that there is currently a very substantial improvement in terms of charging times, performance and costs that the industry is seeing a step by step change.
Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, included a freight truck as a part of the proposed lineup expansion in the US manufacturer’s July 21 master plan. Although the Model S sedan of the company was the first ever eCar that has a broad appeal, a commercial vehicle is going to pose a whole new challenge with fleet operators now focusing on the price of durability and ownership over comfort and design features.
Customers are also going to be a bit reluctant to risk purchasing an unproven technology, according to Tom De Vleesschauwer, an analyst at IHS Markit, a research company. Tesla also has the potential of overcoming these doubts through cooperating with Wrightspeed of the co-founder Ian Wright. It is a manufacturer specializing in electrifying trucks according to De Vleesschauwer.
Tesla and Nikola Motor have raised a lot of speculations and enthusiasms in the market, the analyst added. Market prospects are such that the share of the heavy duty and electrified medium trucks could grow solely for certain market applications.
Sales of the electric versions can also account for 4% of US and European Union heavy and medium duty truck sales by the year 2025, IHS added.