Daimler Trucks is taking the next step in the electrification of trucks with the battery-electric low-floor Mercedes-Benz eEconic truck.
The eEconic will at first be offered in the configuration 6x2/N NLA and is mainly in demand as a waste-collection vehicle. Battery-electric trucks are well suited for urban use in waste management due to the comparatively short and plannable daily routes of up to 100 kilometers, the company notes, with a high proportion of stop-and-go in inner-city traffic. With an anticipatory driving style, electrical energy can be recovered during braking to charge the battery, which further improves range and efficiency.
The Mercedes-Benz eEconic's electric drive produces no local emissions and is quiet, characteristics that have a positive effect on the quality of life of residents and of the vehicle crew. The low-positioned “DirectVision cab” with a panoramic windscreen and glazed passenger door gives the driver direct visual contact with vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
The driver is supported by a large number of intelligent safety-assistance systems such as Sideguard Assist. The driver and crew get in and out of the vehicle using only two steps on the side facing away from traffic. This makes exiting the cab safe and helps to avoid accidents. The comfortable standing height in the interior also facilitates access.
The Mercedes-Benz eActros heavy-duty truck with a range of approximately 200 kilometers is in intensive use with customers in Germany and Switzerland; the first customer handover took place in 2018.
In the United States, the medium-duty Freightliner eM2 and the heavy-duty Freightliner eCascadia are also currently undergoing practical tests with customers. More than 140 Fuso eCanter light-duty trucks are already in use with customer in cities worldwide, including New York City, Tokyo, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Lisbon.
Customer testing of the eEconic for municipal use will begin in 2021. Selected customers will test the vehicles for their everyday practicality in actual applications. The experience gained from customer testing will flow directly into series production of the eEconic, which is scheduled to start in 2022. The eEconic is based on the eActros electric truck for heavy distribution, which will go into series production in 2021.