Automakers the world over are sharpening their focus on electric mobility and vehicle electrification. Some, like Tata Motors did recently, are also setting up separate business verticals for the global industry megatrend.
Now Daimler Trucks has announced that it is setting up a global organisation for e-mobility, including a new leadership function. During today's Capital Market & Technology Days in the US, Daimler Trucks also presented two new, fully-electric trucks from Freightliner, its leading US truck brand. They are the new Freightliner eCascadia, a heavy-duty electric truck for long-distance operations (>15 t GVW) in Portland (Oregon) and a full-electric variant of the Freightliner eM2 106 for the medium segment (9 to 12 t GVW).
Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is planning to hand over an innovation fleet of around 30 electric trucks to its first customers in the US in the course of this year. As it has with the fully-electric Fuso eCanter light truck and the medium Mercedes-Benz eActros, the company aims to gain experience in eTrucks by working together with customers to establish how electric trucks can be efficiently deployed in day-to-day transport operations.
With the two e-trucks from Freightliner, the Mercedes-Benz eActros, the Fuso eCanter, the fully-electric Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus and the Thomas Built Saf-T Liner C2 Jouley school bus, Daimler Trucks & Buses already has the broadest portfolio of fully-electric commercial vehicles globally.
Martin Daum, member of the Daimler Board of Management for Trucks and Buses, stated: “We are the undisputed global leader of the trucking industry and we intend to remain in that position with electric trucks and buses. We were first-movers on electric trucks and strive to set the standard in each relevant segment. With the formation of our new global E-Mobility Group, we will maximise the impact of our investments in this key strategic technology. Thus, we can pursue the best solutions in batteries, charging solutions and energy management.”
Consolidating global know-how for electric drive systems
Daimler Trucks & Buses says it views electric mobility as an innovation driver in the commercial vehicle industry and as a decisive factor for leading the transport sector into an emission-free future. In doing so, the following objective applies: e-mobility must be cost-effective – both for the customer and for the manufacturer.
Moving forward, the E-Mobility Group (EMG) will – across all brands and divisions – define the strategy for electric components, complete electric vehicles, and develop a standardised, global electric architecture similar to Daimler Truck’s global platform strategy for conventional engines and drive components.
EMG is set up globally with employees working in various locations throughout the company's worldwide development network, i.e. in Portland (U.S.), Stuttgart (Germany) and Kawasaki (Japan). Effective July 1, Gesa Reimelt, who is currently head of Product Projects Powertrain & eDrive Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, will become head of this new, globally engaged and cross-divisional organization. In this function, she will report to Dr Frank Reintjes, head of Global Powertrain and Manufacturing Engineering at Daimler Trucks.
“We expect increasing demand for electric trucks and buses, and are also receiving these signals from our customers. Only manufacturers who lead the field in both conventional drive systems and electric drive systems are able to offer convincing solutions, technically and business-wise. With regard to conventional powertrains, we have always benefited from our worldwide platform strategy. We will also be taking this approach for electric drive systems in the future. To this end, we are establishing the E-Mobility Group in which our experts from all functions around the world will work together on the best e-systems,” said Frank Reintjes, member of the Divisional Board of Management, Daimler Trucks & Buses responsible for Global Powertrain and Manufacturing Engineering.
Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 for the NAFTA region
The Freightliner eCascadia is based on the Cascadia, the most successful heavy-duty long-distance truck (class 8) in the North American market. 730 hp is almost silently generated under the characteristically long, U.S.-style hood. At 550 kWh, its batteries provide enough energy for a range of up to 400km, and can be recharged to around 80 percent within 90 minutes to cover a further 320km.
The Freightliner eM2 106 is intended for local distribution operations and last-mile delivery services. The batteries of the new electric version provide 325 KWh for up to 480 hp. The range of the eM2 is around 370 km. The batteries can be recharged to around 80 percent within 60 minutes, sufficient for a range of around 300km .