USA: Daimler Truck commences medium-duty electric truck deliveries

Daimler Truck North America has commenced series production of the Freightliner eM2, a battery electric medium-duty truck, and says clients have already lined up. Its sister brand, Rizon, also delivers good news.

Image: Daimler Truck

Staying with Freightliner, DTNA is making the new trucks at the plant in Portland, Oregon. Designed for pick-up and delivery applications, the first US clients include Ferguson, Hogan Truck Leasing, Penske Truck Leasing, Pitt Ohio, Ryder System, Titan Freight Systems and Velocity Truck Rental & Leasing. In Canada, the first units will go to Brossard Leasing and Day & Ross.

Freightliner presented the eM2 in May 2023 as a medium-duty truck in US Class 6 and 7. With production commencing today, DNTA is on schedule and spec since the brand confirmed previous data. 

The eM2 Class 6 comprises a single motor with 142 kW of continuous power and a 194-kWh battery for 180 miles (290 km) of range. The Class 7 truck has a twin engine delivering 190 kW continuous power and a 291-kWh battery for 250 miles (400 km) of range.

The eM2 chassis borrows from the combustion model M2 106 Plus. The electric motor(s), called Detroit powertrains, are integrated directly into the axle, as is the two-speed gearbox. DNTA says this requires fewer mechanical components, leading to simpler and lighter construction, improving energy efficiency. 

Daimler also positioned the battery beneath the cab to prioritise frame rail space for easy upfits; for customers who require cooling configurations, an electric power take-off (ePTO) option is available; the drive battery then powers the refrigerators. Manoeuvrability is ensured with up to 55 degrees of wheel cut and a swept-back bumper.

As usual, DNTA tested the new trucks with select clients. 

“The feedback we’ve received reinforces our confidence that the Freightliner eM2 will meet and exceed our customers’ expectations,” said Rakesh Aneja, head of eMobility at DTNA. “Our partners and dealers are looking forward to introducing the Freightliner eM2 to their customers, and we are excited to see it in use by customers and fleets.”

The medium-duty trucks will join the eCascadia in DTNA’s lineup. Released in 2022, the fully electric Class 8 truck holds a “leadership position” in the segment based on available Polk registration data from the beginning of the year until September 2023, Daimler reported today.

The corporation had more news from the medium-duty segment. Its new US brand, Rizon, launched in April 2023 and received full homologation this week. Rizon can now sell its class 4 and 5 medium-duty electric trucks nationwide.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification and Executive Orders by the California Air Resource Board certify that Rizon fully complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Rizon names four variants in today’s statement becoming available: the e18L, e18M, e16L, and the e16M.

The class 4 and 5 BEVs, ranging from 15,995 up to 17,995 lbs. in gross vehicle weight, can run from 75 -110 miles (for M size variant with two battery packs) to 110 -155 miles (L size variant with three battery packs) on a single charge.

As with previous announcements, Daimler Truck does not go into detail, but the Rizon vehicles essentially appear as Fuso eCanter vehicles under a new logo. Daimler presented the current eCanter generation in September 2022, and it has a very similar appearance and comparable technical data. The battery can be assembled in modules of 41.3 kWh each – two or three of these modules are installed, roughly resulting in 83 and 124 kWh.

Daimler Truck did not specify where the Rizon vehicles originate, but reports suggest Japan. The mentioning of shipments as below also indicates imports.

Says DNTA: “The first shipments of vehicles are arriving in California, where customers can claim a $60,000 baseline incentive per vehicle through the (CARB) Hybrid and Zero-emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP).”

Deliveries are set to commence this quarter through dealer networks in California via Velocity EV as the sole distributor. (Freightliner),


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