Daimler, one of the world’s largest truck maker, has been feeling the pressure from Tesla’s electric truck – going as far as saying that they have “passed them by” if the claims Tesla is making about its electric semi truck are true.
Now the German truck manufacturer is answering back with the launch of its own electric truck group along with the unveiling of two more electric trucks, including an electric version of their Cascadia to compete with Tesla Semi.
Daimler had already unveiled the FUSO eCanter program, a small electric truck meant for urban routes with a range of only 100 kilometers (62 miles) and a load capacity up to three and a half tons, and a bigger all-electric eTruck, which has a 26 ton capacity, a massive 212 kWh battery pack, and ~125 miles of range.
Both vehicles weren’t really a competition for Tesla’s electric truck, which is a class 8 with 80,000-lb capacity and a range of up to 500 miles on a single charge.
Now the company is launching a new unit called E-Mobility Group to consolidates its electric truck efforts.
Martin Daum, head of Trucks and Buses at Daimler and the same man who said that ‘Tesla Semi defies laws of physics and is passing us by if true‘, commented on the launch:
“We are the undisputed global leader of the trucking industry and we intend to remain in that position with electric trucks. We were first-movers on electric trucks and strive to set the standard in each relevant segment in which we compete. With the formation of our new global E-Mobility Group, we will maximize the impact of our investments in this key strategic technology. Thus, we can pursue the best solutions in batteries, charging solutions and energy management.”
The new group will develop electric powertrains for electric trucks and buses made by Daimler’s many truck and bus companies.
With the launch of the group, Freightliner, Daimler’s main truck company, is unveiling the eCascadia (center in picture above), a class 8 truck with a range of up to 250 miles, according to the company:
“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 400 km (250 miles), and can be recharged to around 80 percent within 90 minutes to cover a further 320 km (200 miles).”
Daimler describes it as a long-range vehicle, but it also unveiled a smaller electric truck for “local distribution”, which consists of an electric version of the M2 106 (left on the picture above).
The company describes the vehicle:
“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 (230 miles). The batteries can be recharged to around 80 percent within 60 minutes, sufficient for a range of around 300 km (184 miles).”
They plan to deliver the first ~30 units of these two trucks to customers in North America by the end of the year.
I am glad that competition is heating up in the all-electric truck space.
The fact that they are making an electric version of the Cascadia is particularly interesting in relation to Tesla Semi since the program at Tesla is led by Jerome Guillen who used to lead the Cascadia truck program at Daimler before joining Tesla.
It also explains Daum’s comment about “Tesla Semi defying laws of physics and is passing them by if true” since they undoubtedly had that truck when he made the comment earlier this year.
They obviously couldn’t reach Tesla Semi’s specs with the eCascadia, which appears to have half the range of the Tesla Semi, so they think that Tesla must be lying about the specs or is “breaking the laws of physic” to get there.
It’s really starting to get interesting and of course, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is uping the ante again by saying that the production version of the Tesla Semi next year will have even better specs than what they unveiled last year.
Place your bets.