2021 Volvo Big Rig
By Eric M. Johnson and Ilona Wissenbach
PORTLAND, Ore./FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Daimler AG <DAIGn.DE> apparent on Wednesday an all-electric big rig barter it promises to accept in assembly in 2021, as the German automaker mounts a above claiming to European and American rivals, including new entrants like Tesla Inc <TSLA.O>.
Truck buyers ahead all-around adjustment to barrier abuse from trucks and see advantages from lower ammunition and aliment costs of electric vehicles, but a agile technology about-face is far from assertive accustomed challenges of cost, charging infrastructure, range, and the abeyant for abundant batteries to astringe payloads.
Daimler’s Freightliner eCascadia is an 18-wheeler with a 250-mile (400 km) range, aimed for bounded administration and anchorage services, while Tesla has said that its Semi – which it expects to body by 2020 – will be ill-fitted to longer-distance runs with a 500-mile range.
Daimler on Wednesday additionally apparent a medium-duty Freightliner eM2 106, with a ambit of up to 230 miles, advised for bounded distribution, such as cooler delivery, which some analysts see as the “sweet spot” of the arising electric barter market.
Daimler said it will bear a absolute of 30 prototypes on the two models to barter afterwards this year for field-testing and expects to accept the trucks in assembly in 2021.
Daimler, as the world’s better barter maker, has abundant to lose as antagonism for electrified trucks intensifies.
The company’s Illinois-based rival, Navistar International Corp <NAV.N>, and its accomplice Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE>, which is spending $1.7 billion on electric drives, free cartage and cloud-based systems by 2022, aim to barrage their own medium-duty barter in North America by backward 2019.
Daimler, with a $66.4 billion bazaar assets and best-known for its affluence Mercedes-Benz brand, has a 40 percent allotment of the almost $39 billion North American able barter market.
Local commitment “makes an astronomic bulk of faculty because it doesn’t accept the all-embracing requirements, yet puts on abundant afar on a circadian base area you can get ammunition savings,” said Tim Denoyer, a arch analyst at consultancy ACT Research.
Success for the beyond chic 8 trucks would articulation on blurred array costs: “While electric barter sales will be adequately cogent in advancing years, I don’t anticipate it will displace agent anytime anon abnormally in highway, long-haul trucking area acutely array accommodation and ambit all-overs present itself,” Denoyer said.
The aggregation will use batteries from German close Akasol, a agent for Daimler told Reuters. No final sourcing decisions on batteries accept been made, however, he said.
Akasol buys lithium beef and adapts them to array systems acclimated by bus makers Daimler and Volvo amid others as able-bodied as in automated vehicles, locomotives and ships. Reuters appear beforehand this week, citation sources, that Akasol is advancing for a Frankfurt banal bazaar advertisement afore the summer break.
Daimler Trucks North America Arch Executive Officer Roger Nielsen said the truck’s burden had been abstemious by the admeasurement of batteries.
“Overall, this is an ideal appliance for barter whose routes accept a audible ambit and whose operating archetypal provides time for array recharge,” he said.
A able bartering barter runs up to 100,000 afar a year, and Tesla has promised a 20-percent extenuative on accepted per-mile operating costs, to some skepticism.
Tesla additionally has added than 450 anxiety for its barter and expects to accept a arch start, although its affairs are still developing and the roll-out of its Archetypal 3 auto has been bedeviled by assembly problems. CEO Elon Musk affairs to alpha assembly in 2020 but there is no Tesla barter branch yet.
Martin Daum, arch of Daimler’s trucks and buses divisions, took a jab at Tesla back asked during an account with Reuters whether Daimler would alpha accepting barter anxiety with banknote bottomward payments, as Tesla does to accession funds.
“We don’t allegation the bottomward payments to accounts our investments,” Daum said afterwards aflame a smile. “We accord (customers) prototypes. We don’t allegation for that. It’s accepting ability on their side, as able-bodied as on our side. Again we advertise the trucks and again we bear the trucks. We don’t allegation any pre-orders.”
Daimler additionally appear a new analysis and development centermost for free active in Portland, which will assignment with absolute accessories in Stuttgart, Germany, and Bangalore, India on accepting self-driving bales trucks on the road.
Stuttgart-based Daimler will advance added than 2.5 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in R&D at its barter operations by 2019, with added than 500 actor euros appropriate for electric able bartering vehicles, connectivity and self-driving technology.
Daimler Trucks expects a able additional bisected of the year but second-quarter business charcoal challenging, accounts arch Jochen Goetz said, citation problems in the accumulation chain. He additionally said the truckmaker would focus on active its antecedent accumulation plan and aim to lower costs by 1.4 billion euros as planned by 2019.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Portland, Oregon and Ilona Wissenbach in Frankfurt; Additional advertisement by Alexandria Sage in San Francisco and Sayantani Ghosh in Singapore; Editing by Peter Henderson and Stephen Coates)
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