Freightliner launches series eM2 truck in the US

Daimler Truck North America has presented the production version of its medium-duty electric truck Freightliner eM2. The eM2 is now available to order in two variants for US Classes 6 and 7.

After the heavy-duty truck eCascadia, the eM2 is the second battery-electric model of Daimler’s truck brand Freightliner and is scheduled to go into series production at the Portland plant in autumn 2023.

The final eM2 variants comprise a single-motor US Class 6 truck with 142 kW of continuous power and a 194-kWh battery for 180 miles (290 km) of range, and a twin-engine Class 7 version with 190 kW continuous power and a 291-kWh battery for 250 miles (400 km) of range.

The eM2 shares the chassis with the combustion model, specifically the M2 106 Plus variant. The electric motor(s), called the Detroit ePowertrains, are integrated directly into the axle, as is the two-speed gearbox. This should make it possible to save on mechanical components, leading to simpler and lighter construction, which in turn should improve energy efficiency. Daimler also mentions the battery beneath the cab, thus prioritising frame rail space for easy upfit; for customers who require cooling configurations, an electric power take-off (ePTO) option is available, by means of which the cooling units can be supplied with energy from the drive battery. Manoeuvrability is ensured with up to 55 degrees of wheel cut and a swept-back bumper.

“Utilising the production experience from the eCascadia, the eM2 is the result of extensive co-creation with our customers and years of real-world testing,” said Rakesh Aneja, vice president and chief of eMobility, DTNA.

Indeed, several electric Freightliner eM2s have been on the road in North America since 2019, but these were still pre-production examples from customer trials customary at Daimler Truck. At that time, the company worked with Penske Truck Leasing, for example. The vehicles covered over 1.5 million miles (2.4 million kilometres) in 50 fleets operating across the West Coast, New Jersey and Canada. The technical development becomes clear when compared to the pre-production model of 2019: at that time, a shorter range (up to 370 km vs today’s 400 km) was achieved with larger and heavier batteries (325 kWh vs 291 kWh today).

“For pick-up and delivery applications, the eM2 has a typical range of 180 miles for the Class 6 version and 250 miles for Class 7, and represents a reliable, efficient and sustainable solution,” Aneja added.

It’s a vocation

In today’s news, Daimler Truck North America also announced launching of the eM2 vocational innovation program. The goal is to tackle specific requirements, particularly in the utility, sweeper, dump, towing and recovery, and refuse segments and upfit the eM2 series accordingly. Current new target specifications developed with work truck customers in the real world are up to 330 kWh of usable battery capacity, 150 miles range, depending on the application, wheelbases between 155-inch and 220-inch, only 10-inch of back-of-cab protrusion space for battery, and both electric and mechanical ePTO options to support hydraulic and battery-powered body equipment using the vehicle’s HV battery. These specs are subject to ongoing tests, so Daimler.

At the same time, Freightliner points to Detroit eConsultants as a service partner “able to connect the dots” for customers transitioning to EV. The company provides advice on right-sizing infrastructure, choosing chargers, navigating rebates and incentives, assisting with site selection, providing connectivity insights, and offering photovoltaic and energy storage options, among other things.

Back to DTNA – the series Freightliner eM2 is just one of several pieces of US news from Daimler Truck: a few days ago, Daimler Truck North America had introduced Rizon, a new brand for medium-duty electric trucks, and announced the name Greenlane for a joint venture to build a nationwide charging station and hydrogen refuelling station network for utility vehicles.,


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