E-mobility is a crucial factor for the traffic of the future. As the technology leader of today, Daimler Truck is also aiming to shape the logistics and passenger transportation of tomorrow - with electrified solutions that provide maximum benefits for customers and the environment.
To this end Daimler Truck has initially focused on market segments in which electrified trucks and buses can function first – both technologically and economically. With the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, Daimler Buses has been offering a locally CO2-neutral city bus for environmentally friendly public transport in cities and metropolitan areas since 2018. Series production of the battery-powered eCitaro is well underway. Products such as the eCitaro make a substantial contribution to keeping the air cleaner in urban areas. The Mercedes-Benz eActros for heavy urban distribution is in series production since October 2021 and the eEconic, our special truck for municipal waste disposal, since July 2022. The light-duty FUSO eCanter is being put through its paces by customers under real-world, everyday conditions since 2017. In December 2018 the first Freightliner eM2 was also turned over to customers in the U.S.; the heavy Freightliner eCascadia followed in 2019. With the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul and the GenH2 further locally CO2-neutral vehicles are being planned or tested. Daimler Buses is also planning to launch the first all-electric intercity bus on the market from 2025. The first all-electric coach is due to follow at the end of this decade.
Customer trials are worth their weight in gold to Daimler Trucks: Every day new and important insights are gained. These include, for example, which routes the customers drive, when they want to or must load, or how long it actually takes for the trucks to be charged with enough power again and how the charging infrastructure has to be optimized to do so.
The concept truck celebrated its world premiere in September 2020. In late April 2021 Daimler Truck began to conduct extensive tests with the first enhanced prototype focusing among other things on continuous operation, different weather and road conditions, and various driving maneuvers. Currently, the further enhanced prototype of the hydrogen-based fuel-cell truck Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck is being tested on public roads after receiving approval from German authorities for use on public roads. Daimler Truck plans to hand over first series-produced GenH2 Truck to customers within the second half of the decade. The goal: ranges of up to 1,000 kilometers and more on a single tank by using liquid hydrogen. Daimler Trucks prefers to use liquid hydrogen (LH2), because in this state, the energy carrier has a far higher energy density in relation to volume than gaseous hydrogen. As a result, the tanks of a fuel-cell truck using liquid hydrogen are much smaller and, due to the lower pressure, significantly lighter. This gives the trucks a larger cargo space and higher payload weight. At the same time, more hydrogen can be carried, which significantly increases the trucks’ range. This makes the GenH2 Truck in its series version, like conventional diesel trucks, suitable for multi-day, difficult to plan long-haul transport and where the daily energy throughput is high.
Already in September 2023, Daimler Truck successfully demonstrated that hydrogen fuel-cell technology can be the right solution to decarbonize flexible and demanding long-haul road transportation. A public road approved prototype of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck completed Daimler Truck’s #HydrogenRecordRun covering 1,047 km of distance driven with one fill of liquid hydrogen.
In October 2023 Mercedes-Benz Trucks has unveiled the series version of the first battery-electric long-haul truck with the three-pointed star. With the heavy-duty eActros 600, the manufacturer plans to define the new standard in road freight transport – in terms of technology, sustainability, design and profitability for e-fleet operators. The high battery capacity of more than 600 kilowatt hours and a new, particularly efficient electric drive axle developed in-house, enable the e-truck to achieve a range of 500 kilometers without intermediate charging. Visually, the e-truck is characterized by a fundamentally new, puristic design with clear lines and an aerodynamic shape.
The Mercedes-Benz eActros ist the first electric truck to bear the three-pointed star and marks an important step in achieving CO2-neutral road-based goods transport. The findings from the "eActros innovation fleet" which started in 2018 and the close exchanges with customers have been incorporated into the development of the series-production model. The eActros is in series-production since October 2021.
The technological centrepiece of the electric truck is the drive unit – a rigid electric axle with two integrated electric motors and a two-speed transmission. Both liquid-cooled motors generate a continuous output of 330 kW as well as a top performance of 400 kW. Plus, if the vehicle is driven particularly foresightedly, recuperation enables the vehicle to recover electrical energy. The energy obtained in this way during braking is fed back into the batteries of the eActros and is again made available for use by the drive system. The battery of the eActros series-production model is equipped with either three or four battery packs. The eActros can be charged with up to 160 kW: When connected to a regular 400A DC charging station, the three battery packs need a little longer than 1 hour to charge from 20 to 80 percent. (Based on internally determined empirical values under optimal conditions, including an ambient temperature of 20°C.)
With the new eActros 300 tractor unit model variant, we are consistently expanding the range of applications for the eActros. The eActros 300 tractor unit is particularly well suited for flexible use in heavy-duty distribution haulage. The tractor unit is based on the same technology as the eActros 300 and the eActros 400 as a solo vehicle or a drawbar combination. The vehicle can pull all common European semitrailers, taking into account the maximum permissible overall vehicle combination length. Like the eActros 300 and the eActros 400, the tractor unit is offered as an integrated solution including consultation and charging infrastructure solutions. Series production is scheduled to start in the second half of 2023.
Since July 2022, Daimler Truck has been manufacturing the new Mercedes-Benz eEconic, the special truck for municipal waste disposal, in series production.The new eEconic is perfect for applications in urban areas with frequent stops and is designed to cover the vast majority of typical Econic waste collection routes in single-shift operation without intermediate charging. The electric drivetrain makes it possible to have a level cab floor, thus facilitating cross-cab access; this is particularly advantageous if the driver wants to get out through the folding door on the front passenger side where there is no traffic. The deep panoramic windscreen of the DirectVision cab provides the driver with direct visual contact with other road users and enables an extremely good overview of the traffic.
With the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, Daimler Buses has offered a locally emission-free city bus for environmentally friendly public transport in cities and metropolitan areas since 2018. The model range of the eCitaro has since been successively expanded. Since 2020 the eCitaro is available as an articulated bus.
With its charging technology, the electric bus adapts to the individual requirements of public transport companies. Innovative thermal management ensures efficient energy consumption and forms the foundation that enables a practical range. Without interim charging it can already cover about one-third of the relevant public transport routes. Production of the battery-electric eCitaro is running at a standard rate at the Daimler Buses facility in Mannheim.
The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro is also the prelude to an innovation offensive for rapid and practical electrification of public transport with buses in cities and metropolitan areas. As the development of battery technology rapidly progresses, the eCitaro is already available with the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. Since the end of 2020, the eCitaro is on the market with solid-state batteries (lithium-polymer batteries). Currently in development a range extender for the eCitaro (hydrogen-based fuel cell will provide the high-voltage battery with power).
The all-electric city bus eCitaro is part of the eMobility system from Daimler Buses. In order to assist our customers with the conversion to electric bus fleets, our eMobility consulting team advises them to their desired extent on varied possible applications, including bus line lengths, passenger volumes, energy requirements, range calculations and charging management -- are all taken into account.
In 2018, the two all-electric flagships of Daimler Trucks North America, the eCascadia and eM2, celebrated their premiere in Portland.
With these two vehicle premieres, Daimler Truck is already the leader in the field of electric trucks in the U.S. Daimler Trucks offers the widest range of electric commercial vehicles in North America of all OEMs.
The Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 are designed to meet customers' needs for electric commercial vehicles that operate on fixed, predictable routes where day trips are mostly between 70 and 250 kilometers.
Penske Truck Leasing Corporation received the first eM2 at the end of 2018 and will deploy the e-truck in local distribution in the northwestern United States and California. In 2019 Penske Truck Leasing Corporation and NFI Industries took delivery of eCascadia heavy-duty distribution models. In 2020, further electric trucks were handed over to customers in North America. Series production is planned for 2022.
In November of 2017 Thomas Built Buses introduced the first all-electric school bus for series production. In September 2018, Daimler Truck invests in the U.S. company, Proterra. Both partners are looking at possible synergies in the electrification of school buses and the option to transfer previously proven battery technology and the powertrain from Proterra to the North American school bus market. First electric school buses are in trial use since 2019.
FUSO celebrated the global launch of the FUSO eCanter in New York in September 2017. The FUSO eCanter is Daimler Truck’s first all-electric light-duty truck in small-series production. Since the start of the small series of the eCanter in 2017, around 450 vehicles have been handed over to customers in Japan, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, covering a total of over six million kilometres in locally emission-free mode. With a range of 100-kilometres, the 7.49 tonne vehicle easily meets the inner-city short-range distribution requirements of its customers. At rapid charging stations the charging time can be reduced to one and a half hours only. The eCanters are produced in Kawasaki, Japan and Tramagal, Portugal.
The next generation of the eCanter with improved range and technology was presented in autumn 2022. With five years of experience in real customer use, FUSO has developed the next generation eCanter, which offers even more diverse customer solutions with a significantly expanded range of vehicles. The sales launch of the next generation of the eCanter on the Japanese market is planned for spring 2023. In the coming years, FUSO will also introduce the new vehicle in other overseas markets.
At the Tokyo Motor Show 2017, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) and its FUSO brand unveiled its revolutionary all-electric heavy-duty truck concept - The E-FUSO Vision One.
The E-FUSO Vision One is an all-electric heavy-duty truck concept, has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of about 23 tons and carries a payload of approximately 11 tons, just two tons less than its diesel counterpart - The FUSO Super Great. With batteries performing at up to 300 kilowatt hours and with a range of up to 350 kilometers, the E-FUSO Vision One marks the top end of the company’s electric truck and bus portfolio. While the electrification of long-haul trucks will still need time, a potential application for the E-FUSO Vision One heavy-duty truck is regional intra-city distribution.
With the FUSO prototype “Concept eCanter FCell” (previously “Vision F-Cell”), introduced in October 2019, Daimler Truck is already testing the possibilities of fuel cell technology in trucks.