Just a few months following the release of CEO Elon Musk’s Tesla Master Plan (Part Deux), Mercedes-Benz unveiled its all-electric, heavy-duty urban truck. Both Tesla and Mercedes hope to release their semi-truck in 2017. Let the race for electric truck dominance begin!
Still, in the development phase, Mercedes’ fully loaded urban e-truck currently runs on three lithium-ion batteries and is capable of carrying 57,320 pounds of cargo. With a 200 km (124 miles) range on a single charge, there is room to add an extra battery pack boosting the truck’s range beyond the 124-mile mark.
With three modes (Auto, Eco, Agile), drivers can maximize the cargo truck’s battery range and at the same time, adjust for heavy cargo loads. Auto mode is designed for your everyday standard journey; Eco ensures that you stay within your targeting driving range; and Agile mode, as one would expect, is your power mode. Armed with a Virtual Monitoring System, Mercedes’ cargo truck is smart enough to automatically shift to Eco mode if there’s a chance of not making it to your final destination. The Monitoring System analyzes available pallet space, weight, and expected driving time to predict ideal mode setting for your upcoming trip.
Equipped with a 12.3-inch infotainment display positioned on the center dash, drivers can get real-time route information, battery life, and mode recommendations based upon load size and trip distance. Mercedes’ 26-ton urban e-truck uses cameras on both sides instead of side mirrors. Transmitting a live video feed to a panel just left of the steering wheel, the driver has a full panoramic view of objects surrounding the perimeter of the truck. This feature takes away one of the biggest concerns while operating a cargo truck, especially in urban areas: blind spots.
Mercedes-Benz has been testing their cargo truck since April and is looking to launch the first customer trial results by 2017. Their plan is to integrate the technology into their full fleet of Mercedes trucks within the next decade. This may be ideal timing especially on the heels of Germany’s recent vote to ban all internal combustion engines from its roads by the year 2030.