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Mercedes-Benz shows off the Urban eTruck, an electric big rig that can haul 29 tons

By midian182
Jul 28, 2016
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  1. It seems that electric vehicles are the future. Tesla continues to do well, despite the safety concerns around its autopilot feature, and Audi recently revealed plans for EVs to make up 25 percent (around 450,000 cars) of all its annual sales by 2025. But it’s not just the consumer market that is seeing an influx of electric vehicles; they're breaking into the commercial sector, too.

    Mercedes-Benz has just shown off the Urban eTruck, said to be world’s first fully electric truck able to carry heavy loads (up to 29 US tons). As with all EVs, the eTruck has the advantage of being both quiet and environmentally friendly.

    Most big rigs are used for long-haul deliveries, but the Mercedez-Benz’s 124-mile range and zero emissions mean it’s perfect for moving large loads through cities - hence the “Urban” part of its name – where noise levels and pollution are often a problem.

    The eTruck uses a system derived from the Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid bus. It has an electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs. Power, meanwhile, is supplied by a battery pack consisting of three lithium-ion battery modules with a combined capacity of 212kWh.

    Much like Elon’s Musk’s plan to bring self-driving functions to Tesla’s range of EVs, Mercedes-Benz is looking beyond electric-power for its future trucks. "We intend to establish electric driving as systematically as autonomous and connected driving," said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, who is responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses at the Board of Management.

    It will be a few years before the eTruck makes it onto the roads. Mercedes-Benz says it likely won’t go into production until 2020, by which time Tesla’s own electric big rigs and those from the Nikola Motor Company may already be available.

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  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,181   +528

    Cool, but the paint job is annoying to my eyes.
     
    SalaSSin likes this.
  3. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    It's to keep people from trying to steal it ha ha ha
     
    stewi0001 likes this.
  4. GreenArrow

    GreenArrow TS Enthusiast Posts: 47   +30

    that paint job is there to make it hard for people and cameras to see detail. you see this on prototypes all the time.
     
    SalaSSin, Reehahs, Adhmuz and 2 others like this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,475   +2,033

    And that is the exact reason why it's done up up like that. A trick learned from the worlds navy's.
     
  6. Jibberish18

    Jibberish18 TS Guru Posts: 525   +36

    I think he was kidding guys. =) But yeah you're all correct.
     
  7. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,648   +521

    The whole autonomous driver system is sort of a waste in an urban environment wouldn't you think? In cities trucks are generally making deliveries to customers, not everything on the truck is for a specific customer and usually the driver is responsible for removing the load at the loading dock of said customer/company. Hence a driver is required for that process, for long haul the autonomous feature is 100% a good idea, long straight or simple roads to navigate, less congestion, no tight maneuvering.

    Have Mercedes not gone out in the real world and been witness to what some companies have as far as loading docks? How tightly trucks need to navigate to make deliveries and deal with variables that can always be changing, from cars parked in the loading dock to dumpsters, it's not always a simple thing to overcome. Get long haul trucks to be autonomous first so we don't have truckers driver 20 hours a day, falling asleep at the wheel, that's more of a problem than anything else right now, the urban setting will come with time...
     
    Reachable likes this.
  8. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,149   +1,423

    For a fully electrical vehicle it produces too much noise when moving.
     
  9. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,181   +528

    I feel like I can still make out most of the details from the photos :p
     
  10. Reachable

    Reachable TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +8

    If ever there was a technology which would be welcomed, it would be replacing diesel vehicles with electric vehicles.
     
  11. Reachable

    Reachable TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +8

    The paint job is probably not done to hide detail, because, unlike battleships, there's nothing to hide. But I imagine that it would totally befuddle any attempt to digitize and use the image without authorization. Why that would be so important to Mercedes-Benz I couldn't tell you.
     
  12. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Guru Posts: 508   +45

    Very good I suppose but it is not that great commercially with such a poor load capacity and distance. Last year BMW brought out a 40 tonne version but this was limited to 62 miles, this merc with 124 miles is still pretty pants and you can't take full curtain siders or containers it just seems pointless.

    If it aint doing 300 miles + with 40 tonne then it is pointless. All the above is good for is smaller site to site shunts but then does it really cost less to run than a good ole diesel?
     
  13. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,648   +521

    You don't understand the purpose at all do you, the reason they cover the car in such a way is industry standard. A common practice for all auto manufacturers testing prototype vehicles and is 100% done to hide detail. Check out the links and see what I mean, they even go as far as to cover the windows in extreme circumstances, and has absolutely nothing to do with the military, which on another note doesn't go nearly to such an extreme with the camouflage they used.
     

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