Daimler Trucks North America unveiled the powertrain it will use in electric truck production and made the first move to transition its diesel engine brand to electrification.
Daimler’s Detroit Diesel Corp. subsidiary will produce the Detroit ePowertrain to power the Freightliner eCascadia and Freightliner eM2 trucks it will start manufacturing next year.
“An integrated ePowertrain from Detroit respects that legacy and moves us into a new era for the industry by improving operational efficiency while simultaneously eliminating tailpipe emissions,” said Rakesh Aneja, head of eMobility at DTNA.
Electric powertrains for commercial vehicles are about to become a large market, according to Interact Analysis, a market research firm.
Interact forecasts the electric commercial vehicle market to grow rapidly from through to 2030, as more manufacturers enter the business.
The powertrain component segment will grow from less than $1 billion now to $6.8 billion in 2025 and $22.7 billion in 2030, Interact Analysis said.
All of the major truck brands, including Volvo, Kenworth, Peterbilt and Navistar, are either testing or have launched sales of electric tractors.
For now, electric powertrains are targeted at medium-duty uses and regional hauling, such as from ports to distribution centers. That allows the trucks to run set routes and return to a base for charging. Electric trucks could travel longer distances, but the batteries’ weight to provide a longer range reduces the amount of goods they can haul.
The first ePowertrain offerings will provide 230 miles of range on a full charge for the medium-duty eM2 and 250 miles for the Class 8 eCascadia tractor.
Daimler Trucks North America, a subsidiary of the German truck and auto company Daimler, said the ePowertrain is part of its strategy to establish a uniform basic architecture for their broad line-up of battery-electric vehicles around the globe. Daimler also plans to spend $20 million on reconfiguring the Detroit manufacturing facility located in Detroit, Mich., to become the North American source of Detroit ePowertrain components.
“By utilizing our Detroit ePowertrain to power the Freightliner eCascadia and eM2, we are giving Freightliner buyers the same level of confidence that comes with our conventionally-powered portfolio,” said Richard Howard, senior vice president sales and marketing, on-highway segment, DTNA.
Once part of General Motors Co., Daimler acquired the diesel engine manufacturer in 2000.
The Detroit ePowertrain will initially come in an eAxle design operating at 400 volts and be offered in two variants suitable for commercial vehicle applications.
The single motor design is rated at 180 horsepower and will produce up to 11,500 pound-feet of torque. A dual motor design will double the power to 360 horsepower and 23,000 pound-feet of torque.
The Detroit ePowertrain will be mated to the choice of three battery offerings for the eCascadia and eM2, including a 210 kilowatt hour version, a 315 kWh version, and a 475 kWh version. The battery packs are made up of lithium-Ion prismatic cells.