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 light-duty FUSO eCanter is being put through its paces by customers under real-world, everyday conditions. In December 2018 the first Freightliner eM2 was also turned over to customers in the U.S.; the heavy Freightliner eCascadia followed in 2019.
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 starting in 2027. 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.
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.)
Daimler Truck is taking the next logical step in the electrification of trucks with the battery-electric low-floor truck Mercedes-Benz eEconic. The eEconic will initially be launched on the market in its configuration as a refuse collection vehicle with the wheel configuration 6x2/ NL, designed to cover the vast majority of typical waste collection routes operated by an Econic in a single shift without intermediary charging. The eEconic’s vehicle architecture benefits from Daimler Truck’s global platform strategy. The low-floor truck is based on the eActros. Intensive testing is still underway at present, after which the vehicle will move on to practical trials with customers. Series production of the eEconic is planned for the second half of 2022.
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.
Thomas Built Buses
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 and has since delivered the vehicle to numerous customers around the globe. The FUSO eCanter is Daimler Truck’s first all-electric light-duty truck in small-series production. Customers are now operating more than 300 vehicles in New York, Tokyo, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Lisbon. More deliveries are set to follow successively. The global FUSO eCanter fleet has surpassed more than four million kilometres, driven locally emission-free.
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 next generation of the FUSO eCanter with improved range and technology is expected to be introduced in 2022. The FUSO eCanter is produced in Kawasaki, Japan and in Tramagal, Portugal.
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.
New business models
Daimler Truck is a pioneer of e-mobility with battery-electric trucks undergoing intensive practical trials around the world. Thanks to the close exchange with customers, Daimler Truck understood early on the need to think far beyond the e-vehicle. That is why Daimler Truck offers an ecosystem tailored to the use case and needs of customers, including consulting and charging infrastructure solutions. This is how Daimler Truck wants to provide customers with the ideal entry into e-mobility.
The ecosystem for easy entry into e-mobility consists of three areas:
1. Together with the customer, the key question is first clarified for which application profiles and routes electric trucks are already suitable today. For this purpose, Daimler Truck offers the free “eTruck Ready” app, which uses existing driving routes to determine a realistic and meaningful usage profile of electric trucks for customers.
2. The charging processes of electric fleet vehicles are another key factor that must be integrated into the operating process. For this reason, a further focus of the consulting is on the analysis of the depots and the corresponding conception of the suitable infrastructure including intelligent charging solutions.
3. The third area deals with the optimization of the total cost of ownership (TCO). Experts of Daimler Truck discuss, among other things, the possibilities of public funding for the infrastructure.
The desire is quite simple: Out with combustion drive, in with electric drive -- plug and play. But it doesn‘t happen all that easily because electromobility means rethinking urban mobility with buses and coaches. That's why E-Mobility from Daimler Buses is more than the fully electric eCitaro, it's a complete system made up of several components. The overall eMobility system takes into account other vital things such as the power supply, charging infrastructure, route planning, telematics systems, service concepts and, last but not least, employee training.
In a public transport operation, the change to electric mobility is about more than energy consumption and range. The keywords here include route management, topography and weather, stops and timetables. The specialists at Daimler Buses are at right home doing it all. Using simulation software they determine which routes are suitable for e-mobility and, if requested, develop suggestions for e-bus routes.
E-mobility calls for specific services. The eMobility service concept begins with the support of the customer’s maintenance facilities, includes the tailor-made service contracts eBasic and ePremium and tops off with BusDepot Management. Here, employees of OMNIplus take over vehicle care in the customer’s maintenance facilities. The OMNIplus training center in Dortmund provides exemplary information about the equipment in an e-bus workshop and offers a complete training concept for e-mobility.
The eCitaro communicates with and connects to the charging infrastructure via the ISO 15118 protocol. Mercedes-Benz offers solutions for integrating vehicle-specific data into management systems. The OMNIplus On Portal provides companies insights into fleet operations data. Mercedes-Benz offers integrated system solutions for maximum transparency from vehicle scheduling to depot management by working together with ITS software provider IVU Traffic Technologies.
As standard service Mercedes-Benz relies on charging via the plugs in the depot. If desired, Opportunity Charging is also possible, either via pantograph, i.e., overhead pantograph, or via the combination of charging rails and stationary pantograph. The specialists at Mercedes Benz have tested various charging infrastructures, give advice and can make recommendations.
The power supply of buses is the heart of e-mobility in the city. Daimler Buses eMobility-Consulting supports the planning of infrastructure, calculates the necessary power supply, knows the paths to network operators and electricity suppliers, and recommends the right charging technology - up to the organization of the depot with parking spaces and the power supply to the buses.