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Mercedes launches world’s first all electric truck

by Bharath ChowdaryAugust 2, 2016

The race to own the future of autonomous trucking is in full swing.

When Elon Musk revealed that Tesla is planning to produce an all-electric commercial vehicle platform called “Tesla Semi,” it came as quite a surprise to a lot of people. That’s because it seemed virtually no one else was thinking about electric semi trucks.

Unknown to many is that Mercedes-Benz’s trucks unit has been working on electric trucks for some years now and today unveiled a concept that’s virtually production ready.
The news shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as Mercedes’ parent company Daimler is the world’s biggest truck manufacturer and operates four other truck brands including the more familiar Freightliner and Western Star names.

Its latest concept is called the Mercedes Urban eTruck.

mercedes-benz-urban-etruck-concept_100559233_m

While it may look like an ordinary truck, things are very different in the areas you can’t see. Drive comes from a pair of electric motors, one mounted close to each of the rear wheels but spinning the rear axle. The motors also recovery energy under braking. Combined, they generate 335 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque.

Powering the motors are three lithium-ion battery modules mounted in the frame. They have a combined capacity of 212 kilowatt-hours, which is good for about 124 miles of range. Mercedes says this is a typical amount for a day’s delivery round. If more range is desired, additional battery modules can be added due to the modular design of the truck’s drive unit.

Mercedes hasn’t announced a production date for the Urban eTruck but, depending on where you live, you may be able to see an electric truck up and running. Another of Daimler’s truck brands, Fuso, has developed an electric version of its latest Canter truck. Called the Canter E-Cell, the zero-emission truck is already participating in trials in Germany and Portugal. It has a 48-kwh battery and a range of about 60 miles.

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