By September 14, 2017 Read More →

First US delivery of Daimler electric trucks to UPS

Daimler electric trucks

Three Daimler electric trucks will be leased to UPS for use in soon-to-be-determined locations. Daimler photo.

Daimler electric trucks have a range of about 62 miles

UPS will be the first customer for Daimler electric trucks in the United States.  The battery-powered small trucks, known as FUSO eCanter trucks, will expand the delivery company’s electric vehicle lineup and offer a range of about 62 miles.

A number of automakers are looking to break into the electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks market, including Tesla.  The companies are in a race to find the best way to get rid of diesel engines and use batteries instead as governments tighten regulations on carbon dioxide and soot pollution.

“The game has started,” Daimler Trucks Asia chief Mark Llistosella told Reuters. While the FUSO eCanter is a relatively small urban delivery truck, Llistosella said Daimler is building larger, Class 7 electric trucks. He also hinted that at the Tokyo Motor Show next month, Daimler will show a larger electric truck.

UPS will lease three of the FUSO eCanter trucks from Daimler. Four New York based non-profit organizations will get a total of eight of the no-emissions trucks.

Daimler is limiting sales of the eCanter to about 500 vehicles for the first two years of production. According to Llistosella, in two years “we know there will be a next level of technology” for batteries that will offer longer range, lower cost and less weight.

Currently, battery costs are between about $180 to $200 a kilowatt-hour.  Llistosella says costs could drop to about $100 a kilowatt-hour.  “This is the main lever” to shift electric commercial trucks to higher sales volumes.

The Daimler Mitsubishi FUSO unit has been building eCanter trucks at factories in Portugal and Japan since the beginning of the year.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla tweeted on Wednesday that his company would unveil a prototype of an electric semi-trailer truck on Oct. 26 in Hawthorne, California.

“Worth seeing this beast in person. It’s unreal,” said Musk.

A report from Reuters last month said the Tesla semi will offer a range of 200 to 300 miles, significantly lower than the 1,000 miles offered by some diesel-powered competition.

Tesla is currently developing a system for self-driving trucks.


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