The race to build an electric heavy truck just got another contestant, and they quickly seized the lead.
Upstart Nikola Motor Company and Tesla seemed locked in a battle to roll out the first electrified truck, but Daimler Trucks rolled out this morning its Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, the first fully electric truck with a total weight of up to 28 tons. Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, says the market launch of this technology is conceivable by the beginning of the next decade.
Daimler Trucks has already demonstrated the day-to-day suitability of the fully electric truck in the light distribution segment with its Fuso Canter E-Cell, which has been in customer trails since 2014.
The cost of fully electric drives systems, coupled with their low mileage range, has made the venture prohibitive until recently. Daimler Trucks expects the costs of batteries to lower by a factor of 2.5 between 1997 and 2025 – from $550/kWh down to $220/kWh. At the same time, performance is forecast to improve by the same factor over the same period – from 80 Wh/kg up to 200 Wh/kg.