Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck Test Run Starting Up in Germany

Mercedes-Benz will bring the all-electric Urban eTruck to users through a trial run in Europe beginning this year.

The German automaker has been in talks with about 20 potential customers about participating in a test project at first in Germany and later throughout Europe.

The 124-mile range Urban eTruck is part of the company’s vision to supply urban fleets with electric trucks ideal for short-range commercial deliveries. Mercedes-Benz had earlier committed to bringing about 150 of these trucks, including light-duty Fuso eCanter electric trucks, to customers in Europe, Japan, and the U.S.

These Urban eTrucks have been designed to tap into electric drive power and torque to navigate through cities with heavy loads. The large 212 kWh battery pack powers two high-speed asynchronous three-phase electric motors that can deliver up to 339 horsepower and 737 pounds-feet of torque.

Users can choose between 18- and 25-ton models with various application options including a refrigerated body, a dry box body, and as a platform vehicle. These fleets will get chargers made for these trucks during the 12-month test cycle. A Mercedes-Benz road testing department can provide support services.

The automaker said it will be setting up user profiles with data collected on areas of application and usage. Knowledge will be gained from the test and user expectations for the applications will be compared.

SEE ALSO:  Mercedes-Benz Shows Off All-Electric Urban eTruck With 124-Mile Range

Mercedes-Benz Trucks sees the demand in global markets for these trucks coming from pressure that companies face on supporting better air quality, a lower noise level, and mobility restrictions in crowded cities. The interest is there, the company says.

“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,” said Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

The company expects costs to continue coming down for lithium ion batteries, analyzing the trend during the timeframe of 1997 to 2025. Costs will be going down from 500 euros ($528) per kWh to 200 euros/kWh ($211) during that period. Energy density will be improving in a similar scale – from 80 Wh/kg (36.28 Wh/pounds) to 200 Wh/kg (90.71 Wh/pounds).

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