Daimler unveils electric eCascadia semi truck to compete with Tesla Semi, launches electric truck group

Daimler unveils electric eCascadia semi truck to compete with Tesla Semi, launches electric truck group

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By Fred Lambert, electrek.com


Daimler, one of the world’s largest truck maker, has been feeling the pressure from Tesla’s electric truck – going as far as saying that they have “passed them by” if the claims Tesla is making about its electric semi truck are true.

Now the German truck manufacturer is answering back with the launch of its own electric truck group along with the unveiling of two more electric trucks, including an electric version of their Cascadia to compete with Tesla Semi.

Daimler had already unveiled the FUSO eCanter program, a small electric truck meant for urban routes with a range of only 100 kilometers (62 miles) and a load capacity up to three and a half tons, and a bigger all-electric eTruck, which has a 26 ton capacity, a massive 212 kWh battery pack, and ~125 miles of range.

Both vehicles weren’t really a competition for Tesla’s electric truck, which is a class 8 with 80,000-lb capacity and a range of up to 500 miles on a single charge.

Now the company is launching a new unit called E-Mobility Group to consolidates its electric truck efforts.

Martin Daum, head of Trucks and Buses at Daimler and the same man who said that ‘Tesla Semi defies laws of physics and is passing us by if true‘, commented on the launch:

The new group will develop electric powertrains for electric trucks and buses made by Daimler’s many truck and bus companies.

With the launch of the group, Freightliner, Daimler’s main truck company, is unveiling the eCascadia (center in picture above), a class 8 truck with a range of up to 250 miles, according to the company:

Daimler describes it as a long-range vehicle, but it also unveiled a smaller electric truck for “local distribution”, which consists of an electric version of the M2 106 (left on the picture above).

The company describes the vehicle:

They plan to deliver the first ~30 units of these two trucks to customers in North America by the end of the year.

Electrek’s Take

I am glad that competition is heating up in the all-electric truck space.

The fact that they are making an electric version of the Cascadia is particularly interesting in relation to Tesla Semi since the program at Tesla is led by Jerome Guillen who used to lead the Cascadia truck program at Daimler before joining Tesla.

It also explains Daum’s comment about “Tesla Semi defying laws of physics and is passing them by if true” since they undoubtedly had that truck when he made the comment earlier this year.

They obviously couldn’t reach Tesla Semi’s specs with the eCascadia, which appears to have half the range of the Tesla Semi, so they think that Tesla must be lying about the specs or is “breaking the laws of physic” to get there.

It’s really starting to get interesting and of course, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is uping the ante again by saying that the production version of the Tesla Semi next year will have even better specs than what they unveiled last year.

Place your bets.