Daimler India Commercial Vehicles to foray into electric truck market in 6-12 months

The company has kicked off clinical trials of light-duty eCanter trucks in the country which are slated to be assembled in the country.

By Ketan Thakkar calendar 17 Apr 2024 Views icon13162 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
(L-R): Dr. Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler Truck & Head of Global Truck Technology; Karl Deppen, Member, Board of Management, Daimler Truck and Head of Daimler

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles - the Indian subsidiary of the world’s largest truck maker has announced its entry into the zero-emission truck market in the country.

The company has kicked off a clinical trial of its light-duty electric truck eCanter in the country, which is likely to hit the roads in the coming 6-12 months.

The third generation eCanter will be assembled in the Indian market to cater to the growing need for e-commerce in the country. The launch of the model also marks Bharat Benz’s foray into the 3.5 to 7.5 tonne truck market- a space where the company had remained absent so far.

Announcing its strategy for long-term readiness for decarbonising transportation solutions – the company claimed that diesel ICE and CO2-neutral propulsion will co-exist at least till 2050.

Satyakam Arya, MD and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles said that the launch of the all-electric eCanter in India is the first step in their long-term strategy to decarbonise their entire product portfolio.

“However, the reality is that diesel ICE and CO2-neutral propulsion technologies will continue to co-exist in the Indian market for the foreseeable future. Over the next two decades we will have a firm footing with decarbonised transportation solutions and will be making progress towards becoming a leader in sustainable transportation in India,” added Arya.

A long-term plan for the company hinges on many complex external factors, such as the availability of a charging and refuelling infrastructure, availability of green energy, cost parity and wide-scale customer acceptance, explained the company.

“Therefore, our initial focus with the eCanter is to achieve product and service excellence, along with customer acceptance,” he said.

So far globally, Daimler Trucks has sold over 2500 E-Canters around the world with over 8 million kilometres on the road. Based on the Mitsubishi Fuso platform, the light-duty truck is being assembled in Japan as well as Europe and India will be the third major market where this model will be locally assembled.

The company’s CO2-neutral propulsion technology roadmap is being prepared in line with Daimler Truck’s global technology strategy with battery electric and hydrogen-based drive technologies.

DICV has already developed a BharatBenz hydrogen fuel cell concept coach in alliance with a large Indian conglomerate. In the future, DICV will introduce trucks across different utility segments that will serve long haul, mining, construction, POL, dumper, RMC and so forth for various freight and terrain requirements.

“LNG, if used at all, will be an interim, tactical solution for long haul transportation. We will primarily commit to battery-electric and hydrogen-based propulsion technologies across our future product portfolio, in a phased manner. One thing is for sure that we will be ready with the right vehicles when the market is,” said Arya.

The proven, next generation of the eCanter will have significant presence in major markets around the world with a 100 variants.

Commenting on how a conducive policy framework is crucial to ensuring economic viability for customers, Arya asserted, “Successful adoption of CO2-neutral vehicles is possible if there is wide consumer acceptance about changes in the equations of total cost of ownership. This underscores the influence of important factors in achieving success in sustainable mobility solutions. By foraying into the CO2-neutral propulsion technologies, DICV aims at contributing to India’s future as it progresses towards becoming one of the world's top five commercial vehicle markets.”



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