Daimler's Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) announced a collaboration with Proterra (partially owned by Daimler) to develop the MT50e, a new all-electric delivery truck chassis for 2020.

The MT50e chassis will be equipped with Proterra's 226 kWh battery system for a range of more than 125 miles (200 km), electric drive system and charging system with DC fast charging capability in three hours.

The important thing is that the electrified chassis (for GVWR of 16,000 to 23,000 pounds) does not reduces cargo volume capacity, although the press release does not say anything about the payload.

"Through years of innovative engineering, Proterra has developed high-performance battery systems for commercial vehicle applications. Proterra’s EV technology has been proven with more than 10 million service miles to date with its electric transit bus fleet. Today, Proterra is leveraging its industry-leading electric vehicle technology and expertise to help commercial vehicle manufacturers electrify their heavy-duty vehicles, like school buses, coach buses, and now delivery vehicles.

Proterra manufactures high-performance battery systems that have industry-leading energy density for maximum range, a flexible design to fit within a wide variety of vehicles, and a ruggedized commercial grade housing to withstand harsh environments. Designed from the cell level up for commercial usage, Proterra battery systems’ modular designs enable customizable battery pack dimensions that can easily be configured to fit within a variety of heavy-duty vehicle platforms. In addition to industry-leading energy density, Proterra battery systems are manufactured with safety mechanisms built directly into the battery architecture and undergo rigorous testing to ensure they withstand the toughest conditions."

The production-ready Freightliner MT50e chassis with Proterra battery system
The production-ready Freightliner MT50e chassis with Proterra battery system

The prototype of the Freightliner MT50e walk-in van will be shown at the upcoming NTEA Work Truck Show, March 4-6 in Indianapolis.

According to FCCC, there will be more commercial electric vehicles coming:

"The MT-50e is designed to combine the reliability and durability of FCCC’s products with the efficiency and performance of a factory-installed, fully integrated electric power system. Launched as a prototype at the 2019 Work Truck Show, the MT50e is the first planned product in what will be a portfolio of all-electric products for a variety of vocations including pick-up and delivery, baker and linen vocations."

A completed walk-in van on the Freightliner MT50e chassis
A completed walk-in van on the Freightliner MT50e chassis

Jeff Sather, president and CEO of FCCC said:

“The new MT50e blends the efficiency and performance of an electric vehicle with the undisputed strength and ruggedness that’s made FCCC the most reliable chassis on the market. The MT50e comes with industry-leading, 24/7 support and builds on our heritage of technological innovation to propel both us and our customers into an era of zero emissions for last-mile delivery vehicles.”

Proterra CEO Ryan Popple said:

“Fleet operators are looking to electrify delivery trucks today and there is growing industry interest in a high-performance electric chassis with an energy-dense battery system. The MT50e offers fleet operators a leading vehicle platform they’re familiar with, combined with proven electric vehicle technology and expertise from Proterra.”

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