Daimler Trucks in North America are continuing to increase their knowledge base in the electrification of heavy trucks on a global basis. Of course, that’s just half the story, as you also need customers willing to help with these trials and who potentially fit the operational profile to benefit from them. At first it sounds easy but as we all know, not every commercial vehicle operator “fits the bill”, as running an electric vehicle, let alone an electric heavy trucks ( Class 4 upwards), currently suits specific criteria.
Having said all that Penske, the US leasing and rental company, have been trailing the all electric Freightliner eM2 which has a GVW of ranging from 6 to 12 tonne ( 13200lbs to 26400lbs) with enough success to decide to look at a further trial from the “Daimler Trucks electric” stable of products, this time in the shape of the Fuso eCanter.
In fact Penske leasing will eventually have around 20 electric Daimler electric trucks , made up of a mixture of eM2’s, eCascadia’s and Fuso eCanters mainly operating in the California / North West Pacific region.
Of course, Fuso has been available in the US for many years competing on the whole with its equivalent Isuzu Trucks competitor in the relatively small cab-over sector.
eCanter is one of a handful of global electric trucks above the European 3.5 tonne GVW and US 10,000lbs GVW “dividing line” separating light commercial vehicles from heavy commercials, basically by driver licencing requirements in these regions.
Penske for its part will probably be looking to the viability and simple economics of running these vehicles alongside a conventional diesel based truck although, of course, the economics of electric trucks will change over the coming years.