Daimler Will Have “Higher Number” Of Electric Trucks On Road Than Tesla

NOV 5 2018 BY MARK KANE 29

Daimler really wants to be ahead of Tesla in this segment.

Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, said recently that the progress in electric truck development is faster than expected.

The German manufacturer soon will begin tests of , with key customers in the U.S. and by the way also introduced electric school buses through Thomas Built Buses and an investment in Proterra.

In Europe, Daimler is testing , while in some countries around the world it offers the smaller Fuso eCanter.

Overall, Roger Nielsen expects that in 2020 Daimler will put more electric trucks on the road than Tesla, which we assume is being considered as the main competitor in North America. Hopefully, it will be higher than a two-digit number.

Interesting was this comment on battery and energy consumption, according to Roger Nielsen:

“In response to a question about a possible delay of deliveries of Tesla’s electric Semi to 2020, Nielsen said it was not just a race to market. “The best battery solution is going to win,” he said of the electric truck market. “It’s all about energy consumption.”

We should add that the fast-charging infrastructure is very important here and there was no plan announced by Daimler, compared to Tesla’s plan of building a proprietary network of Megachargers (like Superchargers for its cars).

Source: Fleet Owner

Categories: Daimler, Tesla, Trucks

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29 Comments on "Daimler Will Have “Higher Number” Of Electric Trucks On Road Than Tesla"

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With the current backlog in North America for new class 8 trucks now at
191,000 and the total output by all the OEM’s is around just under 18,000 a month…….. there’s room for everybody
to get their share. It’s now over ten months to get a new truck.

As soon as the economy softens, these numbers will plummet just like they always do. But the latest TCI index was 10.24 so trucking is in good shape yet.

Who has more sounds like an ego thing to me, it’s what the market will bear is what matters.

Thanks for the informative comment. I had no idea demand there was a backlog for semi trucks. 18k a month among all the manufacturers sounds like there could be multiple new entrants not just Tesla or Merc with electric trucks.

If a downturn does occur, I would think that demand for electric trucks would increase as the operational costs are much lower.

Yes, I would definitely agree that a downturn would boost sales (or at least market share) of electrics as it offers a great way to permanently cut costs.

It’s not just operational costs that matter , but a superior logistics and service system to ensure as close to a 100% uptime on the vehicles.
There have been electric trucks in use for a fra years in Norway, and the main problem companies faced was slow supply of parts, and this caused slow repair as well.
The main user stopped using it.

So whoever is going to make electric trucks better get their logistics working, and keep a supply for all parts. Parts will fail, there will be crashes, there will be damaged caused to weather, by rodents and what not.

Tesla owners NEVER have to worry about getting their parts immediately!

I’ve noticed that there’s only one EV company that doesn’t compare its products, performance, and production to any other EV company. That kinda says something to me. I should add that the company I speak of has the rest of the industry constantly comparing itself to them.

OK, so not Fiat, then.
By the end of this year, Daimler will have 30 electric trucks on the road into some of their fleet customers, so that part is true. Except what the trucks do could be little more than yard trucks. However, if you count local delivery trucks, then you’ve got a problem. UPS seems to be spending a lot of money on start-up manufacturers. Workhorse got an order, Thor got an order, Tesla got the bigger order.

What I think is going on is that Daimler is advertising that they will be big, really big, when in reality, Tesla is outselling them in the US and is the bigger company. Gonna suck when GigaFactory 3 comes online. King of the kill claims go out the fenestrated walls when that happens.

Sorry, I should have clarified more. The company I’m referring to doesn’t measure it’s own personal product goals using any other company as a standard. In the links you provided, Elon merely dislikes the other products. He isn’t taking the “Bolt/Leaf/i3 Killer” approach.

Direct quote from the EVAnnex article (emphasis added):

Now, here’s where Musk’s little lecture gets interesting (or embarrassing, from GM’s point of view). Many Tesla skeptics expect Model 3 to face stiff competition from the Chevy Bolt. However, those with more knowledge of the EV market understand that (unless there is a major change of strategy in Detroit) GM will likely produce the Chevy Bolt as a “compliance car” in limited numbers.

Elon explained one reason why this is so: “The CARB credits are only effective at a production rate of about 20,000 to 30,000 vehicles a year,” said he. “So that’s why you’ll see – mark my words – it’s not going to be any higher than that for the Chevy Bolt. That’s on order of 25,000 units a year, or 10% of our initial production rate for the Model 3, or 5% of what Model 3 will be next year.”

That’s a direct comparison of the projected sales of a GM product to the projected sales of a (then-upcoming) Tesla product. How is that any different than what you are accusing other automakers of?

The Product. The Vehicle. The Performance. Not production numbers. The driving standard, the range, the recharge speed, the completely different (and better) everything. Search hard enough (as you’ve provided), and you can find responses from Elon regarding him being asked his opinion on other products. Your bolded quote was him simply saying Tesla will produce more cars than GM’s EV offering. Doesn’t mean he measures Tesla’s product design(s) using GM as his/Tesla’s starting point. That’s my point. You don’t see Yahoo Finance label ANYTHING new from Tesla as a “Bolt or i3 or E-Tron or Leaf or etc. Killer.” Meaning, Tesla IS the standard.

And, we can agree to disagree. As is apparent. And thanks for keeping it constructive.

Direct quote from the third link, regarding the i3:

Despite this, Musk is confident Tesla can build something better than what BMW has right now. “We can produce something like the i3 or better than i3 right now, but it wouldn’t be great. It wouldn’t be amazing,” he said.

That sounds an awful lot like a comparison of BMW’s product design to future Tesla products. It seems like the only consistent metric here is that when Elon does it, it is OK.

And let’s keep in mind: the article we are commenting on right now is about Daimler having a “higher number” of electric trucks on the road than Tesla; i.e. production numbers. Roger Nielsen was talking about sales, not comparing the performance of a future Daimler truck to a future Tesla truck. The closest he got to any kind of direct comparison was saying that it’s not just a race to market, and “the best battery solution will win.” In short, Nielsen was doing exactly what you claim should be done.

You win. BMW and Daimler are the EV standard. I stand corrected. Have a good day.

Whether or not they are the “EV standard” was not the point at hand.

You were praising Tesla as the only EV automaker that’s above the fray and doesn’t need to stoop to mentioning the competition… but Elon does it almost every time another company’s EV is getting any publicity. And that’s fine! Just like Mary Barra, Carlos Ghosn, and Roger Nielsen above, Elon Musk’s job is to promote his own company and its products.

But please don’t try to whitewash the situation and claim that Tesla is too confident to bother sniping their competition.

Hey Spider, I already gave you the win. And I told you I stand corrected. I even gave you a thumbs up. I’m wrong, you’re right. And again, have a good day.

Yep to that snipe is snipe

“Overall, Roger Nielsen expects that in 2020 Daimler will put more electric trucks on the road than Tesla…”

Since that will include smaller PEV (Plug-in EV) trucks such as ~5 ton or ~10 ton trucks — such as Daimler’s eM2 — then I have no doubt Daimler can — if it tries — make and sell more of them in a shorter time than Tesla can with its Class 8 heavy Semi Truck only.

Tesla isn’t attempting to compete in the smaller PEV truck classes. But will Daimler actually try to sell PEV trucks? That’s the real question. Let’s hope this isn’t just more vaporware, like Volkswagen keeps shoveling out!

Smaller PEV trucks for local delivery have a easier economic case than medium-to-long distance over-the-road freight hauling, because — in general — they are run for a limited amount of miles per day and are returned to a central location every night; a location where they can easily be recharged.

So the market segment for smaller PEV trucks may well grow faster than the PEV semi truck market.

I think that you are right about the local delivery market being the easiest to crack and it is one market that Tesla is not going after (yet)…
There is room for more than two manufacturers in the commercial space. It is clearly not one where one maker can dominate. Well, I hope they don’t as we all know it is competition that spurs innovation and development.

“But will Daimler actually try to sell PEV trucks? ”
Daimler has stated that they have no plans to give up their status as the world leader in heavy trucks.
They also have plans for a plug-invariant in nearly every market they play in, which is nearly all heavy truck segments.
Put these together and I think you have an answer.

Yes, this is what I want to hear from Daimler Trucks. From “defies laws of physics” to “higher number than tesla”.

Well done everybody, the big manufacturers are pushed to build EVs. Especially for commercial vehicles the transition will be much much faster, than for normal passenger cars.

I really like the developments in the transportation industry, very very exciting years (decades) ahead.

Daimler, Well done, you did it!
Keep doing what you are doing because apparently, you are busy saving the world. Actions speak louder than words.

I hope Mercedes agrees to use Tesla charging system and the two work on that charging system together. Having multiple different charging stations just takes longer to expand the network. Ideally everyone would use and contribute to Tesla’s charging system..

It appears to me that Daimler’s electric trucks are basically what amount to EV conversions – same body, chassis etc., but with an electric drive train in place of the diesel. Given Daimler’s huge resources, it would be embarrassing if they weren’t able to churn out large numbers!

Any idea of what an engine, transmission, exhaust system cost for a Mercedes Truck?

I haven’t heard of much detail from either company…. And hopefully the electric version of the Freightliner trucks will be more reliable than their ICE versions, I know one customer that is so fed up with that Daimler product that he’ll never buy another one.

If Tesla is competing against an inferior product, then it will be that much easier for them to get market dominance. But as I say there has been a dearth of details with either product.

In my last 1.4 million miles, over 700,000 was in Freightliners, they know how to build a reliable truck and their service and parts availability is as good as anyones. Even the first generation Cascadias were good trucks overall.

Seeing how the Tesla Semi has the guy who lead the Cascadia, no doubt Tesla is in good hands on the Semi.

Like Elon said, the semi team is all aces !

Where are they going to get the batteries from? A class 8 semi will need 100s of kWh to go 300-500 miles. If they want to have more trucks on the road than Tesla, better start bulding more battery factories or signing long-term supply agreements.

LG just increased their 2020 goal to 90 GWh. LG is currently #4. CATL and BYD are #2 and 3, and growing even faster.

That is just the ideal scenario. A behemoth like Daimler hell-bent on beating Tesla. And hopefully the others will want to beat Daimler. We all know who’s the winner here.