Introduced as a concept at last year’s IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, the Urban eTruck will morph into a production model in the months to come. The announcement was made by Mercedes-Benz Trucks and the plan is for a small production run. Already about 20 potential clients working in the disposal, foodstuffs, and logistics sectors have expressed their interest in acquiring what the company describes as being “the world's first all-electric heavy-duty truck.”

The first batch of production trucks is heading to Germany, with other European countries to follow shortly. Customers are going to use the all-electric trucks for a period of 12 months and during this interval will benefit from support coming from Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ road testing department.

The Urban eTruck will carry over the concept’s technical specifications, so it will have a maximum payload of 12.8 tons and a gross vehicle weight (GVW) rating of up to 25 tons. The massive lithium-ion battery pack featuring a capacity of 212 kilowatt-hour will have enough juice for a range of as much as 124 miles (200 kilometers).

Mercedes Urban eTruck concept
Mercedes Urban eTruck concept

In order to better cater the needs of its customers, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will sell the 18- and 25-ton models with a refrigerated body, a dry box body, and as a platform vehicle, depending on requirements. In addition, the production-ready Urban eTruck is also going to boast a special charger suitable to fill up the large battery pack consisting of three modules.

Besides the Urban eTruck, Daimler Trucks will also kick off a global small series production run of the Fuso eCanter, a light-duty electric truck set to have a maximum range of 62 miles (100 kilometers) between charges thanks to its 70-kWh battery. Approximately 150 units will be handed over the course of 2017 to selected clients from Europe, Japan, and United States.

On a related note, Tesla is working on an all-electric semi truck, but it's not a top priority right now as the Model 3 is first on the agenda. That means it's unlikely to come out before the end of the decade, but Elon Musk has already promised a prototype will be revealed later in 2017.

Source: Mercedes-Benz Trucks

Gallery: Mercedes Urban eTruck concept

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Customer trial for heavy-duty electric truck in short-radius distribution: Small series Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck with electric drive starts in 2017

  • Electric trucks for customers from different sectors in Germany and throughout Europe
  • Excellent customer reaction to Urban eTruck with 25 t perm. GVW and range of up to 200 km
  • Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks: "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."

Stuttgart – This year, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is bringing the world´s first all-electric heavy-duty truck to market in a small series. 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.

As Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks worldwide, explains: "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."

"Zero emissions, quiet as a whisper and with a payload of 12.8 t: The Urban eTruck offers an impressive economical and environmentally friendly concept. The vehicle will initially go in a low two-figure number of units to customers in Germany – and later in Europe too. It will be used in real transportation applications there. The aim is to use actual application scenarios and requirement profiles together with the customer to further optimise 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 continued: "When it comes to future technological issues we have set the standards in the sector, for instance with regard to electric and autonomous driving plus connectivity. 2017 will now be our year of implementation: step by step we are developing the vehicles and systems to achieve market maturity."

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 USA. Daimler Trucks is thus covering a wide application portfolio of electric trucks all over the world.

Increasing urbanisation and better economy of the battery technology pave the way for all-electric trucks

Better air quality, a lower noise level and entry restrictions are now important catchwords in the big metropolises of the world. It will be necessary to transport goods in urban environments for increasing numbers of people – and with the lowest possible emissions and noise. Therefore in the future all-electric trucks will take care of supplying people in many conurbations with groceries or other goods needed on a daily basis.

The rapid technical development is supporting this trend: 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 euros/kWh to 200 euros/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.