Freightliner, one of many largest truck producers in the US, is testing an electrical mannequin referred to as eCascadia. The corporate has meticulously put prototypes by means of their paces around the globe for years, and it even let Digital Tendencies behind the wheel of 1 throughout CES 2019. Now, it’s lastly prepared to start buyer deliveries.
Dad or mum firm Daimler Vans constructed the primary two customer-bound examples of the eCascadia in its analysis and growth middle in Portland, Oregon. This represents a significant milestone, nevertheless it comes with an asterisk. The corporate famous the vehicles are a part of its Electrical Innovation fleet, they usually’ll be used to check the mixing of a battery-powered truck into large-scale fleet operations. They’re not regular-production fashions; these aren’t anticipated till 2021.
The primary two vehicles off the manufacturing line will go to Penske Truck Leasing and NFI, respectively. They’ll be based mostly in southern California, the place they could share the highway with the Semi that Tesla continues to check. The businesses integrating the eCascadia into their fleet might want to present common suggestions on a number of factors, together with what the charging infrastructure is like, and whether or not it’s sensible to cease and cost if you’ve bought a supply to make. Freightliner additionally needs to study how the truck is used, and the way it performs. Lastly, it’s curious about discovering out whether or not the businesses utilizing it kind partnerships with different events within the electrical mobility world.
The eCascadia must carry out at the very least in addition to a traditional, turbodiesel-powered truck. On paper, it seems to be promising. It’s powered by 4 electrical motors (two per axle) that draw electrical energy from a large, 550-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. So as to add context, the most important pack you may get in a Tesla Mannequin X is 100 kilowatt-hours. It has 730 horsepower, its torque output hasn’t been launched, and as much as 250 miles of vary. Zapping the battery pack with an 80 p.c cost takes 90 minutes, in line with Freightliner.
Freightliner will use the suggestions it will get from Penske and NFI to enhance the mannequin as mass manufacturing nears. It additionally plans to deliver extra corporations into its pilot program by delivering extra examples of the eCascadia over the approaching months.