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2018 May
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Car and Driver: Urban eTruck: Mercedes Wants to Make All-Electric Semis for In-Town Deliveries

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Weltpremiere für den Mercedes-Benz urban eTruck: lokal emissionsfreier und leiser Verteilerverkehr

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Elon Musk recently announced Tesla’s plan to produce an all-electric semi truck, but it looks like Mercedes-Benz might beat him to it. Daimler’s new Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck prototype is a fully electric, three-axle heavy truck meant for distribution and delivery within cities. It has an estimated range of 124 miles, supposedly enough for most daily delivery routes (at least in Europe), and Mercedes says it could be ready for series production by “the beginning of the next decade.”

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With an electrically powered rear axle and wheel-mounted electric motors drawing power from a 212-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the eTruck weighs about 3700 pounds more than an equivalent internal-combustion truck, according to the company. But Mercedes says the eTruck’s gross vehicle weight rating of 26 metric tons, or approximately 57,300 pounds, is roughly comparable to a diesel-powered truck. Rather than equip the eTruck with an onboard charger, Mercedes says that trucking companies could use stationary charging stations with 100 kilowatts of charging power that could refill discharged batteries in two to three hours.

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Weltpremiere für den Mercedes-Benz urban eTruck: lokal emissionsfreier und leiser Verteilerverkehr

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Although the idea of an all-electric heavy truck is not entirely new—Mack Trucks recently revealed that it’s evaluating electric-powered garbage trucks, using a turbine engine as a generator to extend range—Daimler’s Urban eTruck is a step forward because of its increased battery capacity. The Urban eTruck’s 124-mile range means it’s still ill suited for the sort of long-haul trucking we most closely associate with heavy-duty trucks. But Mercedes says that increased urbanization, more stringent emissions requirements, and more advanced battery technology could make this concept a reality within a few years. We’ll see if Mercedes can make it happen before Tesla does.

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