Daimler Trucks is making a big push into electric and automated trucks commercial vehicles, showing off its future plans at the IAA international Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany, this week.
It’s part of strategy to produce the types of commercial vehicles that can traverse congested cities – including some that are considering banning the use of transport with internal combustion engines – and meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations worldwide.
“We are presenting our vision of urban transport. Just like with long-distance haulage, our goal is to achieve more safety and efficiency than ever before – and also to be free of local emissions,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, who heads Daimler Trucks. “This will make our cities even more pleasant to live in, despite rising populations and an increased need for transportation.”
Daimler’s big reveal at the show was the electric Urban eTruck. It will be branded as a Mercedes-Benz and is designed to serve as a heavy-duty distribution transport with a range of about 125 miles. Targeted at the European market, it is scheduled for launch early in the next decade.
Other emissions-reducing engines include the nearly carbon-neutral powerplant in the Mercedes-Benz Citaro NGT bus. Built for urban environments, the Citaro NGT uses an engine designed to produce less noise. It is fueled renewable natural gas or biogas.
Mercedes-Benz also previewed the Actros, a fully self-driving heavy-duty truck. Eventually, the company said, trucks such as Actros could be backed to a warehouse and loaded with goods automatically before driving itself to the final destination.
By tackling manpower and emissions, the trucking industry not only saves money but creates a safer and cleaner environment for other motorists, according to Daimler.
“Against the background of urbanization and digitalization, the transport of the future needs to be made more intelligent, flexible and sustainable,” said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “In the future customers will need more than a van on four wheels. They'll need intelligent system solutions precisely tailored to their needs.”
For example, the company is introducing its PRO Connect for vans web-based service. It allows fleet supervisors to manage maintenance in real-time and receive notifications concerning needed repairs before costly breakdowns occur.
Mercedes-Benz wasn’t the only manufacturer making emissions announcements at the 2016 IAA conference.
Mitsubishi Fuso premiered the world’s first fully-EV light-duty truck, the Fuso eCanter. It goes on sale next year. The truck has a maximum range of 62 miles.
Cummins announced its Euro 6 engine is now compatible with renewable and natural sources of diesel fuel, such as vegetable oil. When compared to conventional fossil-fuel-based diesel engines,
A Cummins diesel engine running on alternative fuels will reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent to 90 percent over the course of its life cycle compared to a fossil fuel engine.
“Hydrotreated vegetable oil diesel and other paraffinic fuels offer a useful low-carbon alternative fuel for transport,” said Ashley Watton, a Cummins executive.