Daimler starts production on battery-electric medium-duty truck

First Mercedes-Benz eActros 300 semitrailer tractor to be used by Daimler

Daimler Truck North America has kicked off production of its new battery-electric Freightliner eM2 series at its Portland, Ore., manufacturing plant.

Designed for pick-up and delivery applications, the medium-duty truck will be one of 10 Daimler battery-electric vehicles in production worldwide.

Daimler Truck North America has kicked off production of its new battery-electric Freightliner eM2 series. (All photos: Daimler)

“The start of production for this versatile truck marks another important milestone on our journey to a zero-emissions product line,” said Rakesh Aneja, head of eMobility at Daimler Truck North America. “The feedback we’ve received reinforces our confidence that the Freightliner eM2 will meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. Our partners and dealers are looking forward to introducing the Freightliner eM2 to their customers, and we are excited to see it in use by customers and fleets.”

Daimler has announced the first U.S. dealers of the eM2 series: Ferguson, Hogan Truck Leasing, Inc., Penske Truck Leasing, PITT OHIO, Ryder System, Inc., TITAN Freight Systems and Velocity Truck Rental & Leasing.

The first Canadian dealers will be Brossard Leasing and Day & Ross.

Built on the Freightliner M2 106 Plus platform, the new eM2 truck builds upon the debut of Daimler’s eCascadia, a Class 8 vehicle, in 2022.

With a proprietary, fully integrated and battery-electric Detroit ePowertrain, the eM2’s two-speed transmission is located on the drive axles, which improves energy cost per mile.

The driving range depends on the two available battery-capacity options.

The Class 6 single-motor model has a typical range of 180 miles (290 km) on a single charge, and this 194-kWh option provides up to 190 continuous hp.

The Class 7 dual-motor model can travel up to 250 miles (400 km) on a single charge from its 291-kWh battery, in addition to providing 255 continuous hp.

Daimler said the eM2’s standard safety features include Active Brake Assist 5 (ABA5), tailgate warning, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) down to 0 mph, lane departure warning, intelligent high-beams, automatic wipers/headlamps and side guard assist.

The eM2 also comes with Detroit Connect, which includes real-time monitoring of battery health, charging status and energy usage.

First eActros 300 series production to start at end of year

Mercedes-Benz’s eActros 300 semitrailer tractor, which will start series production later this year, crossed a milestone this week as the first unit of the electric truck in Germany was delivered to Logistik Schmitt.

This is the first of six eActros 300 vehicles that will be delivered to Logistik Schmitt, a family-owned company in Bietigheim, Baden-Württemberg, and the e-truck will be used in plant logistics for Daimler Truck between the engine plant in Mannheim and the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth.

Ronald Ott (left), with Trucks Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Germany, hands over the first eActros 300 semitrailer tractor in Germany to Rainer Schmitt (right), of Logistik Schmitt.

“Logistik Schmitt has been an important partner for testing the eActros since 2019,” said Ronald Ott, head of Sales Trucks Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Germany. “From the first prototype to the electric articulated truck – Logistik Schmitt has supported the development steps of the e-truck with intensive tests. We are all the more pleased that the company is now including the eActros permanently into its fleet.”

The eActros 300 has a platform chassis and three battery packs, which have 112 kWh of battery capacity each, allow for a driving range of 136 miles (220 km) and require just over an hour to charge from 20% to 80% at a standard DC rapid-charging station with a 400A charging current.

“The eActros for distribution transport has demonstrated its capabilities in use with us over the last few years,” said Rainer Schmitt, managing partner of Logistik Schmitt. “The Mercedes-Benz Trucks total concept, which includes specific advice on electric trucks, played a key role in making the decision to now also purchase the variant as a semitrailer tractor.”

In June 2023, the first semitrailer tractor version of the small eActros 300 series was delivered to Dutch food logistics company Simon Loos.

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