The truck is being built at facilities in Japan and Europe, and is on sale now, according to Marc Llistosella, chief executive officer of Daimler Trucks Asia.
The eCanter is made by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation. A telling factor in this deal is that the money came from Daimler's dedicated truck division, not the vehicle maker. Tesla's semi truck is reportedly going to offer between 200 and 300 miles of range on a single charge, which would make it more suitable for medium-length trucking runs between cities.
Construction clanking, sirens from emergency vehicles, and other typical city traffic noise served as the backdrop for Thursday's global launch of Mitsubishi Fuso's medium-duty electric delivery truck here in New York City's East Village. Citing the truck as a "gamer changer", he said New York City expects to see 50 all-electric eCanters in service before the end of the year. Larger scale production is meant to start in 2019 but the initial customer in the USA will be freight and logistics outfit UPS.
The eCanter is more expensive than a diesel truck and offers about 10 percent less maximum payload, Llistosella said.
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In a separate statement, UPS said that the three medium-duty electric trucks it purchased from Daimler will be deployed in the USA at locations to be determined. The vehicle's electric powertrain contains six high voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each.
Still of course suffering from a limited distance capability, the new truck is envisaged to be a flawless fit for UPS, delivering and collecting on urban rounds unaffected by the truck's 100 kilometre range. It has also partnered Israeli startup StoreDot, which claims it has created a battery like the ones needed for electric trucks that can be recharged in as little as 5 minutes.
Electric trucks are slowly gaining ground around the world, and one of the world's largest truck manufacturers is getting in on the action. Electric trucks make our fleet both cleaner and quieter, adding to our already more than 8,500 alternative drivetrain vehicles in service today. UPS will be the first commercial customer in the U.S.to use this series-produced vehicle.
Daimler, which is working on autonomous-driving technology for its trucks, will introduce its own long-haul semi concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, Llistosella said.