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DTNA shows two new Freightliner electric truck models

Freightliner Trucks premiered two fully electrified commercial vehicles, a Freightliner eCascadia heavy-duty truck and a Freightliner eM2 106 medium-duty truck during the Daimler Trucks Capital Market and Technology Day. Freightliner plans to deliver an Electric Innovation Fleet of 30 vehicles to customers later this year for further testing under real-world operating conditions.

The announcement comes as Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) explores proprietary solutions to meet the most promising target applications for electrified commercial vehicles, with the goal of starting production in 2021.

Both electrified Freightliner models are designed to fit specific applications, carefully identified through an extensive co-creation process with customers. The goal is to build and deliver commercial electric vehicles that support the business and sustainability goals of customers.

The eCascadia has up to 730 peak horsepower. The batteries provide 550 Kwh usable capacity, a range of up to 250 miles and have the ability to charge up to 80% (providing a range of 200 miles) in about 90 minutes. The Class 8 tractor is designed for local and regional distribution and drayage.

The eM2 has up to 480 peak horsepower. The batteries provide 325 Kwh of usable capacity, a range of up to 230 miles and have the ability to charge up to 80% (providing a range of 184 miles) in about 60 minutes. The eM2 is Freightliner's electrified solution for local distribution, pickup and delivery, food and beverage delivery, and last-mile logistics applications. 

"The Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 are designed to meet customer needs for electrified commercial vehicles serving dedicated, predictable routes where the vast majority of daily runs fall between 45 and 150 miles," said Roger Nielsen, president and chief executive officer of DTNA. "These innovative trucks reflect DTNA's commitment to bring practical, game-changing technology to market. The eCascadia, utilizing North America's bestselling Class 8 platform, and eM2 106, based on one of the most in-demand medium-duty truck designs, are built on validated, series production trucks in extensive use by our customers every day."

The Freightliner eCascadia with 80,000 pounds gross combination weight rating (GCWR) and eM2 with 26,000-lb GCWR are part of Daimler Trucks' global electrified truck initiative. The Mercedes-Benz eActros, with a range up to 124 miles and a 55,000-lb GCWR, is now entering testing for distribution applications with customers in Europe, while the E-FUSO Vision One, a Class 8 concept truck in Japan with a range of 220 miles and a 51,000-lb GCWR, gives an outlook on the electrification of the Fuso portfolio. The FUSO eCanter, a light-duty truck, is already available in series model production as a fully electric truck from Daimler Trucks.

"Our primary goal at DTNA is bringing vehicles to market that are safe, reliable and efficient,” Nielsen said. “Heavy-duty electric vehicles present the greatest engineering challenges, but they also are the best learning laboratories. We have decades of experience in successfully producing durable commercial vehicles in high volumes that stand up to the demands our customers place on them. We now bring this unmatched experience and expertise to the electric truck category."

Richard Howard, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, Freightliner Trucks, added: "DTNA is striving to develop electric commercial vehicles that reduce emissions and enhance our customers' bottom lines through improved uptime and lower operating costs. With the largest dealer and service network in North America, we will offer unparalleled access to factory-trained technicians, parts and support. We will leverage this network to support the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet and, as more electric commercial vehicles are delivered to our customers, we will provide the superior support they expect from Freightliner."

DTNA understands the success of electric commercial vehicles requires extensive knowledge and support on the infrastructure side, and is leading the initiative to develop a commercial vehicle charging infrastructure for North America. Daimler AG, DTNA's parent company, is a founding member of CharIN, the Charging Interface Initiative--an effort to develop a standard charging system for battery-powered vehicles. DTNA is heading a CharIN taskforce to develop a new electric commercial vehicle charging standard globally, collaborating with utilities and service providers to foster a supportive environment for high-voltage charging networks and serve as a trusted consultant for customers.

Martin Daum, member of Daimler Board of Management for trucks and buses, said: "We are the undisputed global leader of the trucking industry and we want to remain in that position also with regards to electric trucks. We were first-movers on electric trucks and we strive to provide the leading electric truck in each relevant segment. With the foundation of the global 'electric mobility group', we maximize the impact of our investments in this key strategic technology field. Thus, we can go for the best solutions in batteries, charging solutions and energy management."

The eCascadia and eM2 join the Thomas Built Buses all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley school bus and the FUSO eCanter to establish Daimler Trucks as the leader in North America with the widest range of commercial electric vehicle models.

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