The head of the Daimler Trucks & Buses Divisions, Martin Daum, recently stated in a newspaper interview, that Daimler has plans to release an electric truck next to their electric buses this year! The model will be based on the already existing Actros Truck model, and is expected to be officially presented next to the E-Citaro at this years IAA.
The move follows a longer strategy: As of last year, Daimler has been producing the eCanter light truck, which runs on a fully-electric engine. As the fleet is extended by an electric bus, Daimler has decided to fully cover public transportation and infrastructure needs by additionally supplying a heavy electric Truck: the new Actros.
Following a recent announcement that Tesla is planning to expand their public logistical efforts by working with industry giants such as PepsiCo to supply charging stations for their planned electric trucks, many players in the industry have found themselves in a position of having to catch up before they are left behind. Daum stated, that he believes that the battery technology has not sufficiently developed to match Teslas performance claims, and doesn’t think long-distance transportation is feasible at this point. As a result, Daimlers truck will instead focus on short distances in and around cities.
The head of Trucks & Buses also expressed some uncertainty regarding self-driving vehicles in the near future. While autonomous vehicles are generally seen as the next big development in public transport, Daum stated that 99.9% safety is insufficient, considering how many thousands of kilometers the vehicles are scheduled to drive on a daily basis. He believes that even a safety rate of 99.99% would be insufficient, as that would be one mistake every 1,ooo km. As a result, he believes that the near future will not see automated trucks transporting goods through passenger traffic any time soon.
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