STATES CHRONICLE – On Wednesday, Mercedes Benz unveiled and successfully tested the world’s first fully electric truck: the Urban eTruck. The new vehicle is designed for heavy transportation of goods within cities.
Its maximum range is 124 miles or 200 kilometers and can carry as many wares as a similar diesel vehicle, i.e. about 29 tons. The truck is slated for mass production at the start of the next decade.
The vehicle, which was tested Wednesday on Stuttgart’s streets, is as silent as it is clean. The Daimler Trucks team explained that electric trucks are a must-have in overcrowded cities due to air pollution, noise, and movement limitations.
And world’s cities are expected to become even more overcrowded as more people choose to live their lives in urban areas. The world reached a major milestone in 2008 when there were more people cities than in the countryside.
According to a UN report, by 2050 there will be nine billion people on the planet with more than two-thirds living in cities. So, there is the growing need for heavy-duty vehicles that can transport goods across cities without producing noise or pollution.
Several populous cities such as Paris and London plan to ban conventional vehicles from traveling in their centers. There electric vehicles trucks could come into play as they have zero emissions and can transport wares for city inhabitants.
Fully electric trucks have been until recently just a dream because of the high costs of batteries and meager ranges. In recent years, however, energy storage technology saw great advancements and battery cells are being constantly improved.
By 2050, Daimler expects battery costs to drop by 2.5 times from 553 dollars per kWh to 221 dollars per kWh. In the meantime, performance is also expected to improve by 2.5 times.
A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz said that the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is a promise that electric trucks will be mass produced in the future. The firm pledged to gather customer feedback that could enable it improve ranges and charging infrastructure. Mercedes plans to roll out the eTruck in the early 2020s.
The electric truck is powered by a battery pack of three Lithium-Ion batteries housed in a safe container within the frame. The battery pack permits a 124-mile range on one charge, which is enough for a daily shipping tour.
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