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Mercedes-Benz starting small series production of heavy-duty Urban eTruck with electric drive this year for customer trials

Mercedes-Benz Trucks is bringing its all-electric heavy-duty truck (earlier post) to market in a small series this year. Following the presentation of the Urban eTruck with 25 t perm. GVW and a range of up to 200 km at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in 2016, the first vehicles will be delivered to customers this year.

The electric truck is based on a three-axle truck, with the entire conventional drivetrain replaced by an electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs. Maximum output is 2 x 125 kW, while the peak torque is 2 x 500 N·m. In combination with the gearing, the torque at the wheel reaches 11,000 N·m.

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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 (124 miles)—normally enough for a typical day's delivery round. Depending on the desired range, the modular battery pack can be customized by adding or removing batteries.

The Urban eTruck is connected to the charging station using the Europe-wide standardized Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 2 connector. With a charging power of 100 kW, the fully discharged batteries are charged to 100% in two to three hours. (The system will support up to 150 kW.)

Following the world premiere in September 2016 at the International Commercial Vehicle Show, the customer reaction was outstanding. We are currently talking to around 20 potential customers from the disposal, foodstuffs and logistics sector. With the small series we are now rapidly taking the next step towards a series product. By 2020 we want to be on the market with the series generation.

—Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks worldwide

The vehicle will initially go in a low two-figure number of units to customers in Germany, and later in Europe too, Buchner said.

The aim is to use actual application scenarios and requirement profiles together with the customer to further optimize the vehicle concept and the system configurations of the electric truck. The tests will include use in shift operation, charging times plus battery and range management.

—Stefan Buchner

In order to be able to depict the various application possibilities, 18- and 25-tonne models will be equipped with a refrigerated body, as a dry box body and as a platform vehicle. Together with a special charger which takes into account the increased demands on a truck, the vehicles will be handed over to the customers to use for a period of twelve months and supported by Mercedes-Benz Trucks road testing department.

During this time the use profiles and areas of application will be recorded and the knowledge gained and expectations compared.

The Urban eTruck is part of a comprehensive electric initiative from Daimler Trucks. The light-duty electric truck Fuso eCanter will be in use in a global small series in 2017. Around 150 vehicles will be handed over to selected customers in Europe, Japan and the US. Daimler Trucks is thus covering a wide application portfolio of electric trucks all over the world.

Daimler Trucks is expecting the costs for the batteries of an all-electric truck to fall by a factor of 2.5 from 1997 to 2025— from €500/kWh to €200/kWh. At the same time the energy density of the available batteries in this period will rise by the same factor from 80 Wh/kg to 200 Wh/kg.

Comments

HarveyD

Could become a very good e-truck. The only thing missing is range, at least 3X more and quicker charging (450 KW to 700 KW)

Would need battery upgrading in 2018, 2020, 2022, 2025 etc.

James McLaughlin

"...a low two-figure number of units".

Well, as my mother used to say, it is better than a poke in the eye with a stick. (Minnesota humor, sorry.)

But those quantities do no sound like they are very serious. Yet.

Lad

If you think MB is behind in EVs, think again; at this point only the cost of batteries is holding them back; all the rest of EVs tech is well-known; in fact, EV tech is easy and much less complicated than gassers. All car-makers are just trying to time the American market at this point coordinated by their political lobbying group,the AAM. Trump and the Republicans will continue to campaign against EVs and clean energy because they are elected by the fossil fuel industry money. The car companies can't afford to let Tesla get too far ahead...all part of the timing.

Account Deleted

Tesla is working on a fully driverless heavy duty semi. I expect the first version to include a cabin for a human driver as that is needed to train the first AI drivers on how to drive a heavy duty semi. Once Tesla has made that work and proven that its AI driver is safer than a human driver all subsequent semis will be made without any cabin for a human driver. That will make them hugely cost efficient to the alternatives and that will be the start of a transportation revolution with fully driverless heavy duty BEVs replacing human driven diesel polluters. Better batteries are not needed for this to happen we just need the driverless tech ASAP.

HarveyD

@Chang:

In 1982 ICAO-IATA-NASA sucessfully tested three (3) pilotless commercial large planes. I were on board for one of those 50+ flights. Take Off, complex flights, Approach and Landings were all done without human pilot assistance.

Some 35 years latter, all commercial flights still have a pilot and a co-pilot. Since collison avoidance was added in the late 1990s, human pilots are really no longer required put thay are still around.

They same thing will probably happen with human ground vehicle drivers. They will be around for a few more decades?

Account Deleted

@Harvey the first day pilots are not required the airliners will get rid of them and start buying airplanes without a cockpit for pilots. You can save the money spend on pilots and also load more paying passengers into the airplanes.

About 500,000 Model S, X and 3 will all be able to drive themselves on most roads in Q1, 2018 and by Q4, 2018 Tesla will have collected enough data to prove their AI pilot is much safer than humans and that is what will get Tesla the official permission to operate their cars on the Tesla Network without any human drivers in them. I also expect Tesla to start selling cars without human controls no later than Q1, 2019. They could cost as much as 4000 USD less per car when compared to the same car with human controls in them.

SJC

Pilotless airliners and and dark Loop tubes, people would really get in those? I think not.

HarveyD

@Change: I too would like to see driveless e-buses and e-taxis and policeless cities but our icy streets with frozen snow piles and deep pot holes are not yet very well suited.

It seems that we may have 40+ days with icing rain/snow this winter and more to come in the next 50+ years?

How will the best detectors and drive units react to heavy snow and icy slippery streets. Time will tell if it can be done with more safety than current bad drivers?

electric-car-insider.com

Completely agree with Harvey and SJC. Computers crash. Sometimes networked systems crash in cascades. I wouldn't want to be in a vehicle - in air or on land - that did not have the capability of handing over control to a human who could bring the vehicle to a safe stop.

For all their virtues, we're a long way from auto pilot systems who can pull off a "Scully" off field landing

- a programmer and pilot

electric-car-insider.com

..."operational failures may be caused by the impact of electrically charged particles generated by cosmic rays that originate outside the solar system."

"In 2008, the avionics system of a Qantus passenger jet flying from Singapore to Perth appeared to suffer from a single-event upset that caused the autopilot to disengage. As a result, the aircraft dove 690 feet in only 23 seconds, injuring about a third of the passengers seriously enough to cause the aircraft to divert to the nearest airstrip."

https://m.phys.org/news/2017-02-particles-outer-space-wreaking-low-grade.html

SJC

The autonomous car can be an assist to save lives,
beyond that use it wisely and sparingly.

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