Despite the obvious restrictions and hurdles the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to everyone, it has not significantly affected Daimler Trucks North America and their work on Medium-duty and Heavy-duty battery-electric trucks. The company is building vehicles now at the same rate as before the pandemic.
Rainer Müller-Finkeldei started at Daimler in 1995 working in artifical intelligence. At the time, not many knew about AI or had heard of neutral networks. Now, he is the the new senior vice president of engineering and technology at Daimler Trucks North America and is heavy into autonomous truck development among other things.
Freightliner’s Innovation Fleet logged more than 300,000 miles in the real-world by customers. They have both medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks in a 30 vehicle fleet that are all battery-electric. This fleet includes 10 eM2s and 20 eCascadias testing in drayage, regional, and local delivery, among others applications.
A volt is a volt, whether it comes from a hydrogen fuel cell or a lithium-ion battery. How that volt is produced makes no difference to the electric drive motors on commercial vehicles, but the stakes are enormous for everyone else, from fleet buyers to the people who design the assembly lines for such vehicles. We have two apparently viable ways of powering electric trucks, each currently somewhat better suited to certain applications than others. Will a clear winner emerge?
California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont joined with the District of Columbia to sign a statement of intent today to develop an action plan to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission trucks and buses.