Freightliner Trucks has premiered two fully electrified commercial vehicles, an eCascadia heavy-duty truck and an eM2 106 medium-duty truck. Freightliner said it plans to deliver a fleet of 30 vehicles to customers later this year for testing under real-world operating conditions.
Both electrified trucks are designed to fit specific applications identified through what Freightliner said was an extensive co-creation process with customers.
The eCascadia has up to 730 peak horsepower. The batteries provide 550 Kwh usable capacity, a range of up to 250 miles and can charge up to 80% (providing a range of 200 miles) in about 90 minutes. The Class 8 tractor is designed for local and regional distribution and drayage.
The eM2 has up to 480 peak horsepower. The batteries provide 325 Kwh of usable capacity, a range of up to 230 miles and can charge up to 80% (providing a range of 184 miles) in about 60 minutes. The eM2 is Freightliner’s electrified solution for local distribution, pickup and delivery, food and beverage delivery, and last-mile logistics applications.
While Freightliner is not saying much beyond the about the power systems for the new e-trucks, it is known that the eCascadia test vehicle has a powertrain carried over from the company’s eActros vehicles.
The eActros vehicle architecture has been configured specifically for an electric drive system, with a high proportion of specific components. The drive axle, for example, is based on the ZF AVE 130 that has been used as a low-floor portal axle in hybrid and fuel-cell buses from Mercedes-Benz and is now being fundamentally revised for the eActros. The axle housing has been completely redesigned and is mounted in a significantly higher position on the eActros, thereby increasing the ground clearance to more than 200 mm.
The eActros drive system comprises two electric motors located close to the rear-axle wheel hubs. These three-phase asynchronous motors are liquid-cooled and operate with a nominal voltage of 400 volts. They generate an output of 125 kW each, with maximum torque of 485 Nm each. The gearing ratios convert this into 11,000 Nm each.
The announcement comes as Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) explores proprietary solutions to meet target applications for electrified commercial vehicles, with the goal of starting production in 2021.
“The Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 are designed to meet customer needs for electrified commercial vehicles serving dedicated, predictable routes where the vast majority of daily runs fall between 45 and 150 miles,” said Roger Nielsen, president and chief executive officer of DTNA. “These innovative trucks reflect DTNA’s commitment to bring practical, game-changing technology to market. The eCascadia, utilizing North America’s bestselling Class 8 platform, and eM2 106, based on one of the most in-demand medium-duty truck designs, are built on validated, series production trucks in extensive use by our customers every day.”
The Freightliner eCascadia with 80,000 lb. gross combined weight rating (GCWR) and eM2 with 26,000 lb. GCWR are part of Daimler Trucks’ global electrified truck initiative.
The Mercedes-Benz eActros, with a range up to 124 miles and a 55,000 lb. GCWR, is now entering testing for distribution applications with customers in Europe, while the E-Fuso Vision One, a Class 8 concept truck in Japan with a range of 220 miles and a 51,000 lb. GCWR, gives an outlook on the electrification of the Fuso portfolio. The Fuso eCanter, a light-duty truck, is already available in series model production as a fully electric truck from Daimler Trucks.
“Our primary goal at DTNA is bringing vehicles to market that are safe, reliable and efficient. Heavy-duty electric vehicles present the greatest engineering challenges, but they also are the best learning laboratories,” Nielsen said. “We have decades of experience in successfully producing durable commercial vehicles in high volumes that stand up to the demands our customers place on them.”
Along with the eCascadia and eM2, Daimler Trucks’ list of commercial electric vehicle models includes the Thomas Built Buses all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley school bus with a range of up to 100 miles that starts limited production in 2019; the FUSO eCanter, a fully electric Class 4 light-duty truck in series production with electric urban delivery vehicles being delivered to various customers in North America, Asia and Europe; the fully electric Mercedes-Benz Citaro going into series production in late 2018.
Further, the Mercedes-Benz eActros is a fully electrified heavy-duty distribution truck starting operations with the first customers in the second half of 2018.