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Trucking Trend: Electric Semi Trucks

Along with self-driving semi trucks, several manufacturers have expressed interest in developing electric semi trucks to cut down on pollution.

Recently Mercedes-Benz, a Daimler subsidiary, revealed an all-electric truck called Urban eTruck at an international motor show in Germany. This truck runs on three lithium-ion batteries that provide a 124-mile range total. Extra battery packs can be added to the truck to increase its range. Even with the battery packs, the weight of this truck is comparable to a diesel-powered semi truck. The batteries can be fully charged at a stationary 100-kilowatt charging station in as little as two to three hours. The Urban eTruck also features an onboard charging system that uses regenerative braking technology to keep the batteries charged. The system converts braking energy into electricity to power the truck.

Daimler Electric Semi Truck

Image source: Daimler

Although the truck’s battery life only lasts for 124 miles, that’s enough for an average in-town delivery truck to get through a day. This truck was developed for in-town deliveries not highway driving, but it is still a significant advancement in the trucking industry. Electric trucks in general will decrease the cost of freight transportation significantly.

Mercedes-Benz isn’t the only company jumping on the electric truck trend. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, has also mentioned plans to build an all-electric semi truck. Mack Trucks is evaluating creating electric-powered garbage trucks as well.

The shift toward electric-powered vehicles is powered by the growing population. As our population grows, the number of deliveries also grows. More deliveries equals more noise, congestion and pollution. Electric vehicles drastically cut noise and pollution. According to Daimler, within the next few years, it will be necessary to increase deliveries in urban environments as the number of people living in cities grows. It is crucial to deliver the cargo with the lowest possible emissions and noise. Electric semi trucks are step toward both.

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