Just a few years ago, it seemed as though fully electrified powertrains would never permeate the commercial trucking segment. That’s because, sort of like a rocket, the more batteries you added to a truck to increase its range, the more weight you added, thereby diminishing its range.
Combine that with the exorbitant cost of EV batteries and, eventually, you were left with a $1 million truck that weighed 30,000 pounds and could go 15 miles on a single charge. Sure, that is a bit hyperbolic; but not too far from reality.
Times — and more importantly, EV and battery technologies — have changed. Now, companies like Daimler are rolling out all-electric trucks in the commercial market that are affordable and offer moderately respectable range.
The latest is the FUSO eCanter. And it was just delivered to Penske for testing in California.
You’ll likely be surprised to learn that the eCanter is the third e-truck that Daimler has delivered to customers. Freightliner eM2 was first to market, followed by the eCascadia. The lighter-duty eCanter rounds out the trio on the smaller scale, which makes it perfect for its intended urban delivery duties with Penske.
The eCanter can carry a three-and-a-half ton payload and FUSO guarantees it can go 62 miles per charge. It can be fully recharged in 105 minutes on a fast charger. However, since most of these will likely sit idle at night, a slower level-2 overnight charge should do the trick for most Penske outlets.
Amusingly, while Wal-Mart, Pepsi, FedEx, UPS, and many others patiently await production of Tesla’s electric semi, for which the companies have placed orders, Daimler is actually delivering e-trucks. In fact, Daimler has 100 e-trucks in customer hands around the globe.