Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) unveiled earlier this week two new, fully-electric trucks from Freightliner, its leading U.S. truck brand, in a bid to compete with Tesla, Volvo AB and Navistar in the race to electrify big rigs.
The new Freightliner eCascadia is a heavy-duty electric truck with a 250-mile range (400 kilometers) while a fully-electric variant, the Freightliner eM2, is a delivery truck with a range of about 230 miles to cover the medium segment.
The eCascadia battery can be recharged to around 80% within 90 minutes to cover a further 320 km (200 miles), while eM2’s can be recharged to around 80% within 60 minutes, sufficient for a range of around 300 km (184 miles).
DTNA is planning to hand over a test fleet of around 30 electric trucks to its customers in the U.S. in the course of this year.
Production of both electric models is scheduled to begin in North Carolina by 2021 and, according to Expansion, the eCascadia will also be manufactured in Saltillo, Coahuila in the near future.
“We are the undisputed global leader of the trucking industry and we intend to remain in that position with electric trucks and buses,” Daimler Trucks chief Martin Daum said during the presentation which took place at the DTNA headquarters in Portland, Oregon.
For that end, the company is establishing the E-Mobility Group (EMG), a global organization for e-mobility across all of its brands and divisions, to define the strategy for electric components, complete electric vehicles, and develop a standardized, global electric architecture similar to Daimler Truck’s global platform strategy for conventional engines and drive components.
DTNA in Mexico
Daimler Trucks is the largest truck and tractor truck manufacturer in North America. In Mexico, Daimler Trucks has two manufacturing plants located in Santiago Tianguistenco, State of Mexico, and in Saltillo, Coahuila; plus, an International Parts Distribution Center in San Luis Potosi, an Engine and Components Remanufacturing Plant in Toluca, State of Mexico, and a Dealer Network comprised of more than 80 sales and service points nationwide.
The company also operates a Mercedes-Benz Buses Plant in the municipality of Garcia, state of Nuevo León. The factory was opened in January 1994, and since then it has been a state-of-the-art location for chassis and body production in Mexico, with the help of Brazilian bus manufacturer Marcopolo.
This facility manufactures around 4000 units a year, for all segments: urban, suburban and coaches; among the highlights of them, the market’s most successful model: Boxer, chassis MBO; a modular chassis designed by Mexican engineers, along with Brazilian and German support.
Daimler’s truck manufacturing plants are responsible of more than 50% of the total truck and tractor truck production in Mexico. The company employs more than 7,112 people in its five locations.