The decision to start sales comes after a few years since the reveal of the proof of concept in 2018.
During that time, the company has launched and gradually expanded its pilot fleet of 38 electric vehicles that collectively covered nearly 750,000 miles (1.2 million km) in customer hands in North America.
The eCascadia and eM2 prototypes were tested in a variety of applications, including drayage, regional and local pickup and delivery, and food and beverage delivery.
Richard Howard, senior vice president, on-highway sales and marketing, DTNA said:
“From reveal of proof of concept in 2018, to a demonstration fleet that’s in the hands of real customers, running real freight in the real world, to today’s moment where we are ready to formally welcome the nation’s fleets to all-electric freight movement, the entire team at Daimler Trucks North America is incredibly proud of our progress. Moreover, we are very excited to take this next important step into the future of carbon-neutral freight transportation with our great customers and dealers.”
Now, as the order books are open, the company will be able to ultimately gauge the interest ahead of the start of production in late 2022.
That's still 1.5-years from now since the company delayed the market launch by about a year, compared to its initial target of late 2021.
The introduction of electric trucks is not the only thing. DTNA promises an integrated approach, that will include an additional service to help the fleet make the switch to EVs. We guess that one of the main points here will be the charging infrastructure.
The electric Freightliner will be equipped with the all-new Detroit ePowertrain (Detroit is a brand of Detroit Diesel Corporation, a subsidiary of DTNA), andthe Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems and the advanced telematics service of Detroit Connect.
The Detroit ePowertrain offers three battery options:
- 210 kWh: charging in 1.5 to 4 hours
- 315 kWh: charging in 2 to 6 hours
- 475 kWh: charging in 2 to 6 hours
Single or dual drive motor systems:
- Single motor: Max power - 180 hp, Max torque - 11,500 lb-ft
- Dual motor: Max power - 360 hp, Max torque - 23,000 lb-ft
The Class 8 eCascadia tractor will have a range of up to 250 miles (402 km) using a 475 kWh battery, while the medium-duty eM2 is expected to exceed 230 miles (370 km) on a single charge, using a 315 kWh battery.
Freightliner eCascadia (Class 8 tractor) specs:
- up to 250 miles (400 km) of range
- up to 475 kWh of usable battery capacity
- system output of 360 - 525 HP (about 268-391 kW), Single or Tandem eAxle
- ability to charge up to 80 percent (providing a range of 200 miles) in about 90 minutes
- Class 8
- Cab/Sleeper Configurations: Day Cab 116" BBC
- designed for local and regional distribution and drayage
- Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 82,000 lbs. (37,195 kg)
Freightliner eM2 (Class 6-7) specs:
- up to 230 miles (370 km) of range
- up to 325 kWh of usable battery capacity
- system output of 180 - 300 HP (about 134-224 kW), Single eAxle only
- ability to charge up to 80 percent (providing a range of 184 miles) in about 60 minutes
- Class 6-7
- Cab/Sleeper Configurations: Day Cab 106" BBC
- for local distribution operations and last-mile delivery services
- Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,000 - 33,000 lbs. (11,794 - 14,969 kg)
And here is one of the prototypes of the Freightliner eCascadia, equipped with ZF eAxles, seen recently at a fast-charging station:
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