Electric truck a step closer

Daimler has unveiled the concept for its first ever rigid-body electric truck.

Based on the Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty three-axle short-radius distribution truck, with the conventional powertrain replaced with a battery pack comprising three modules of lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 212 kWh, the Urban eTruck will have a range of 200km.

The battery pack can be modified to add or take away cells depending on range and payload requirements, with charging (2-3 hours from flat) via a standardised Combined Charging System (CCS).

Daimler claims the eTruck has been possible because of the development in cell technology – it says that between 1997 and 2025 cell costs will have fallen by 60%, while power will have increased by 250% over the same period.

However, the Urban eTruck is still far from reality and even when it is available it will only really be viable in a city as the power required to drive at cruising speed on a motorway would give the vehicle a very short range.

However, Daimler believes it will have a huge impact, citing the increasing concerns about air pollution in countries like China, the move away from diesel in cities like Paris and London, and the huge potential savings in fuels costs that could result from the use of electric vehicles.

The Urban eTruck is expected to make its public debut at the IAA International Motor Show for Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, Germany in September.