In order to compete with the upcoming Tesla Semi, Daimler has delivered their first ever Freightliner electric truck to Penske Truck Leasing Corporation as part of their “innovation fleet”.
The hand-over to Penske Truck Leasing Corporation marks Daimler’s first step towards electrification of the urban distribution traffic of the United States, as well as yet another move against Tesla.
Daimler hasn’t shied away from challenging Tesla in the past, as the German automaker went out of their way to state that they expected to pump out more electric trucks than Tesla by 2020 just last month.
Daimler has since launched their fully-electric Freightliner eCascadia to compete against the Class 8 Tesla Semi. While the eCascadia is comparable to the Tesla Semi in terms of size and capacity, it sports a range of just 250 miles, roughly half that of the Tesla Semi.
Despite betting on the eCascadia’s success, Daimler instead delivered their smaller eM2 106 medium-duty Freightliner electric truck (pictured above) in order to fulfill their promise of putting an electric commercial truck in customer hands by the end 2018. By doing so, Daimler effectively beat Tesla’s 2019 target launch for the upcoming Semi.
Daimler has since described the eM2 106, stating:
“The Freightliner eM2 106 is intended for local distribution operations and last-mile delivery services. The batteries of the new electric version provide 325 KWh for up to 480 hp. The range of the eM2 is around 370 km (230 miles). The batteries can be recharged to around 80 percent within 60 minutes, sufficient for a range of around 300 km (184 miles).”
Brian Hard, President and CEO of Penske Truck Leasing, commented on the recent delivery:
“Penske is honored to be the first company to put this new medium-duty electric truck into service. 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.”
Martin Daum, Daimler Board Member responsible for Trucks and Buses, later added:
“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. 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.”
While Daimler may have succeeded in beating Tesla’s original target launch, history has shown us that victory is not always awarded to the one that finishes first, but to the one who performs above the competition. Until the release of the Tesla Semi, only time will tell how successful Daimler’s electric trucks truly will be.
Source: Market Screener