WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Not to be out done by cars trucks are getting a green makeover too.
European car companies are finally starting to invest more heavily in green technology and even greener vehicles. Audi unveiled three more electric cars last week and Porsche added 400 jobs to how many it estimates it will create to make its electric Model E come to life. Today though Daimler revealed the first new vehicle concept, the first fully electric semi-truck, the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck.
Like most electric vehicles, the eTruck is whisper quiet, for a truck anyway, which, for a vehicle weighing in at over six tonnes is unnerving at first. With a fully loaded pulling capacity of over 29 tons it’s the first electric big rig concept to hit the road, beating out the semi-truck Tesla announced it was working on last week.
Of course, big rigs move freight across long distances, so the eTruck’s current 124 mile maximum range likely won’t be adequate for long hauls but the “Urban” prefix denotes its use case as a clean, quiet load bearing vehicle ideal for cities. Daimler has already heavily tested the utility of close-range hauling with its Fuso Canter E-Cell pilot program, sending the all electric 4.8 ton capacity light trucks around Portugal last fall. The eTruck scales that concept up to the loads and conditions typically endured by semis.
Daimler envisions that its electric truck won’t roll off the assembly lines until early in the next decade, according to their press release but by then, technological improvements will drive battery costs down by a factor of 2.5 and efficiency up by the same metric, the truck company estimates.