American carmaker beaten to the punch.
Last year, Tesla announced its first ever all-electric semi truck, which offer serious levels of power and a driving range of up to 500 miles. The announcement was enough to convince companies to place orders, from companies like UPS, but we still don't know when the semi-truck will actually be available to purchase.
While these companies wait for Tesla to deliver the production version of the truck, Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) already revealed two electric Freightliners of its own and has just delivered the first example to its first customer, Penske Truck Leasing, in the United States.
The two trucks are not scheduled to go on sale until 2021 but Penske has just taken delivery of its first Freightliner eM2 in Los Angeles, where it will be tested in the real world for two years. With a massive 325 kWh battery, Daimler says the Freightliner eM2 develops 480 horsepower and an estimated range of 230 miles. Like the Tesla semi, this electric truck is ideal for local and last-mile deliveries. With any sort of electric vehicle, charging is a huge concern. Daimler claims the Freightliner eM2 can be charged to 80% capacity in just 60 minutes, resulting in a range of around 180 miles.
In 2019, Penske will take delivery of 20 fully electric trucks from Daimler, split evenly between this medium-duty eM2 and the larger eCascadia, which uses a 550 kWh battery pack to provide 730 hp and a range of up to 250 miles. So while Tesla continues to make bold claims about its electric semi trucks, Daimler is actually delivering.
“Penske is honored to be the first company to put this new medium-duty electric truck into service,” said Brian Hard, President and CEO of Penske Truck Leasing. “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.”