Mercedes-Benz is presenting the first fully electric truck for heavy distribution operations
The world’s most successful truck manufacturer Daimler Trucks is presenting the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, as the first fully electric truck with an admissible total weight of up to 26 tons. This means that in future, heavy trucks will take part in urban distribution operations with zero local emissions and hardly a whisper. The market launch of this technology is conceivable for Daimler Trucks at the beginning of the next decade. In the light distribution sector, Daimler Trucks has already been impressively demonstrating the day-to-day suitability of the fully electric truck in customer trials with the Fuso Canter E-Cell since 2014.
Delivering food and products to people, disposing of waste, supplying goods to industry, trade and commerce, taking away the finished products and growing sensitivity to exhaust and noise emissions – the transport of goods in towns and cities around the world is faced with ever greater challenges.
While trucks remain indispensable, the demands on them are increasing. As an alternative to the consistent gradual reduction of emissions through ever
tighter regulations, the ideal solution is local emission-free mobility – in future also for trucks up to a permissible gross vehicle weight of 26 tonnes.
Although electric drives long appeared to be out of the question for trucks, the economic viability of battery-electric trucks is now starting to emerge.
This is because of major advances in battery technology: between 1997 and 2025, the costs are likely to fall by 60 percent. At the same time, the power
will increase by around 250 percent over the same period. Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck: electric drive, modular battery concept and right weight balance
The latest proof of this development is provided by the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, which shows the way to emission-free mobility in short-radius distribution with heavy-duty trucks. Technically, the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is based on a heavy-duty three-axle short radius distribution truck from Mercedes-Benz. Apart from that, however, the developers at Daimler Trucks have totally revised the drive concept, the entire conventional drivetrain being replaced by an electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs. Their maximum output is 2 x 125 kW, while the peak torque is 2 x 500 Nm. In combination with the gearing, the torque at the wheel reaches 11 000 Nm. The power is supplied by a battery pack consisting of three modules of lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 212 kWh. This results in a range of up to 200 km – normally enough for a typical day’s delivery round. Depending on the desired range, the modular battery pack can be customised by adding or removing batteries. The Urban eTruck is connected to the charging station using the Europe-wide standardised Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 2 connector. With a charging power of 100 kW, the fully discharged batteries are charged to 100 percent in two to three hours.
As the EU Commission is in favour of increasing the permissible gross vehicle weight of trucks with alternative drives by up to one tonne, this will more or less cancel out the weight disadvantage of the electric drive. This will raise the permissible gross vehicle weight of the three-axle rigid truck from 25 to 26 tonnes, which will bring the original extra weight down to 700 kg compared with a directly comparable IC-engined truck. Fuso Canter E-Cell: all-electric drive is already a reality As far as light-duty trucks are concerned, the all-electric drive is already a reality. This is demonstrated by the Fuso Canter E-Cell. Following a successful fleet trial in Portugal, the Canter E-Cell has now satisfactorily completed around six months of the first fleet trial for trucks of this kind in Germany. It will be available in future under the name of Fuso eCanter. There will be news about it at the IAA International Motor Show for Commercial Vehicles, which begins on 21 September 2016.
Its battery packs with a total capacity of 48 kWh are mounted on the left and right sides of the frame. The electric motor has an output of 110 kW,
while the peak torque is 650 Nm. The range of the Canter E-Cell is over 100 km, depending on how the vehicle is used. In Europe, the batteries are
charged with the same, standardised connector used also by the Urban eTruck. The vehicle can be fast-charged to 80 percent of its total
capacity in just one hour. Alongside Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner, Fuso is the third major brand of Daimler Trucks and a leading manufacturer of “green” light-duty trucks. For example, Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids are in service all around the world. The second generation of the truck has been in production since 2012. The first generation of the all-electric Canter E-Cell was launched by Fuso in 2010, with the second generation following in 2014. In parallel with the current fleet trial in Germany, Fuso is already working on the third generation, which will make the electrically powered Canter even more efficient and suitable for everyday use.