With the handover of the first fully electric Freightliner eM2, Daimler Trucks says it has begun operational testing of heavy-duty and medium-duty e-trucks in the US. Late last month, Daimler’s subsidiary Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) handed over the first medium-duty Freightliner eM2 to US customer Penske Truck Leasing Corporation in Los Angeles.

Penske Truck Leasing is going to operate the electric truck in local distribution traffic in the Northwest Pacific and in California. In the course of 2019, Penske Truck Leasing Corporation will receive in total 20 fully-electric Freightliner trucks: ten medium-duty eM2 and ten eCascadia for heavy-duty transportation. In total the Freightliner’s innovation fleet will include 30 vehicles. The series production is planned for 2021.

“Penske is honoured to be the first company to put this new medium-duty electric truck into service,” said Brian Hard, president and CEO of Penske Truck Leasing. “I commend and thank Roger Nielsen and his team at Daimler Trucks North America for their outstanding collaboration and spirit of co-creation with us over the last nine months to bring this innovative technology to market. Penske is committed to providing the most effective vehicle technologies to our customers and driving innovation and sustainability when it comes to mobility.”

“We aim to be frontrunners with electric trucks just as we are with conventional trucks – and we deliver on this objective once again: With the hand-over of our Freightliner eM2 to Penske Truck Leasing Corporation, we now test electric trucks in all segments in day to day operations with our clients worldwide. When it comes to innovations the demands of our customers are pivotal for us. Together we develop solutions for the future of trucks”, Martin Daum, Daimler board member responsible for Trucks and Buses, emphasises. “We’ve got news coming already in January: At Las Vegas’s Consumer Electric Show we are going to announce further commitment of our next steps in another key technology: automated driving,” Daum adds.

The handover to Penske Truck Leasing Corporation is the first step towards electrification of the urban distribution traffic of the US. Penske Truck Leasing Corporation is a leading global transportation services provider operating more than 270.000 vehicles and serving customers from more than 1.000 locations in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. With a range of 230 miles, the Freightliner eM2 is perfect for last-mile delivery services. The batteries charge up to 80% in about 60 minutes, thus providing 325 kWh usable capacity for up to 480 peak horsepower. The Freightliner eCascadia is based on the Cascadia, the most successful heavy-duty long-distance truck (class 8, – 80,000 lb. gross combined weight rating) in the North American market. At start of series production, the eCascadia will have up to 730 peak hp. The batteries provide 550 kWh usable capacity, a range of up to 250 miles and have the ability to charge up to 80% (providing a range of 200 miles) in about 90 minutes.

Gesa Reimelt, head of E-mobility Group Daimler Trucks and Buses said: “Early on, Daimler has started electrifying its trucks. Today, customers in the US, Japan and Europe already operate our battery-driven trucks almost noiseless and locally free of emissions: Our light-weight FUSO eCanter which is in series production and our near-series heavy-duty truck Mercedes-Benz eActros. In collaboration with our clients, we are now going to speed up developing our electric Freightliner models eCascadia and eM2 to optimise them for tough everyday operations – technologically and economically. Here we benefit from our global sharing of knowledge and experience within our E-Mobility Group. It pools all of our e-activities in one organisation – independently of brand, region and vehicle segment.”