That version wasn’t quite ready for prime time, though, as it was just a bare chassis and cab with no bodywork. The completed Urban eTruck debuted at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany, wearing styling that makes it look as sleek and futuristic as a delivery truck possibly could.
The styling appears to borrow some elements from the Future Truck 2025 tractor-trailer concept, with soft edges that distinguish the Urban eTruck from boxy production models. Because a grille wasn’t needed on this electric truck, Mercedes used the space for a reconfigurable LED display that can show everything from the traditional Mercedes badge to the vehicle’s operating status. A roof spoiler connecting the cab and cargo box, as well as side skirts, help improve aerodynamics. The truck also uses cameras in place of exterior mirrors.
As previously outlined by Mercedes, the Urban eTruck is powered by a pair of electric motors mounted to the rear axle. They produce a combined 335 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to haul up to 28.6 tons, according to Mercedes. The company claims this performance is comparable to that of a similar-size diesel truck, despite the extra weight of the Urban eTruck’s electric powertrain. A massive 212-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack allows for a claimed range of 124 miles.
The Urban eTruck gets three driving modes, including “auto,” “eco,” and “agile,” which prioritizes power. Drivers and fleet managers also get a host of connectivity features. The driver can monitor real-time range using a tablet, and Mercedes’ FleetBoard system lets fleets keep tabs on individual trucks’ loads, range, and routes. It calculates whether a given load or route will exhaust a truck’s range, helping to ensure maximum utilization of vehicles.
Mercedes says a production version of the Urban eTruck could appear sometime in the next decade. In the meantime, parent Daimler is rolling out the latest version of its Fuso E-Cell electric truck, now called the Fuso eCanter. The smaller Fuso truck has been distributed to a handful of European customers in pilot programs, but there are no apparent plans to bring it to the U.S.
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