The world’s first all-electric heavy duty truck is set to go into limited production later this year, with trials taking place in the German market before being rolled out to cities across Europe.
The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck was first shown at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover last September, and the brand’s parent company, Daimler, has committed to putting it into small scale production, with a build number initially in double figures.
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 load and operational conditions.
Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks worldwide, said, “Following the world premiere in September 2016 at the International Commercial Vehicle Show the customer reaction was outstanding. We are currently talking to around 20 potential customers from the waste, foodstuffs and logistics sectors. With [this] 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.”
With a payload of 12.8 tonnes, the Urban eTrucks will be deployed in real-life transport situations, with Daimler aiming to get customer feedback and measure how the eTruck performs in a true working environment. Charging times, battery life, range and system configurations will all be closely managed and observed.
The demo trucks will be equipped with refrigerated, box and platform bodies. Together with a special charger which takes into account the increased demands on a truck, the vehicles will be handed over to the customers to use for a period of 12 months, during which they will be supported by Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ road testing department.
Stefan Buchner added, “When it comes to future technological issues, 2017 will be our year of implementation: step by step we are developing the vehicles and systems to achieve market maturity.”