While U.S. Freightliner customers will start enjoying massive reductions in fuel expenses as early as late 2022, with the announcement of the all-electric eCascadia that will enter series production later this year.
Unfortunately, however, Australian customers will have to wait some time before they can start reaping the benefits of massive diesel savings because there is no confirmed date for their introduction down under.
The significant savings in diesel fuel for short-haul applications, like Tasmanian and Victorian intrastate freight tasks, are rumoured to amount to as much as $150,000* per truck per year, depending on the application and utilisation.
However, consider a typical Tasmanian intrastate run like Devonport or Hobart to understand better the potential fuel savings and where the eCascadia will deliver the most significant savings compared to a similar diesel-powered prime mover. It’s a distance of approximately 281 km. The eCascadia has a typical range of 370km. For linehaul applications where they can connect to a recharging station during the loading and unloading process at a depot, the eCascadia will recharge to 80 per cent within 90 minutes, ready for the return journey.
With diesel costing $2.33/litre for a truck running a single shift, one return trip from Devonport to Hobart six days a week will conservatively consume $81,640 of diesel per year. But sure, there will be a few bugs to iron out introducing electrically powered trucks into a fleet operation, but the diesel savings are too significant to ignore.
- 320-470 hp (Horsepower)
- No more fuel bills with Freightliner eCascadia
- A typical range of 370 km (dependent on vehicle configurations)
- Multiple battery options and a maximum capacity of almost 440 kWh
- Recharge of 80 per cent in approximately 90 minutes
The new battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia is built current Cascadia platform and will provide customers with a zero-emission version of the industry-leading Cascadia with the bonus of not using any diesel.
Only after more than one million miles (1.6 million kilometres) of testing in daily customer operations has Freightliner committed to producing the eCascadia.
According to Daimler Truck, U.S. Customers can expect to begin receiving eCascadia models as early as late 2022, bringing Daimler Truck and their U.S. customers one step further toward CO2-neutral transportation.
Since 2018, Freightliner has installed trucks with select customers to operate hauling freight in the real world, covering a wide breadth of applications from local delivery, food distribution, and parcel delivery. Comprised of over 40 battery electric Freightliner eCascadias and eM2s, the Freightliner Electric Innovation and Customer Experience (CX) Fleets transformed the testing process by putting trucks into the hands of almost 50 customers, including leading U.S. fleets such as Penske Truck Leasing, NFI, Knight-Swift, Schneider, Ryder, J.B. Hunt and others.
Freightliner utilised extensive development and rigorous testing through several prototypes. Consequently, this resulted in a powerful and efficient battery electric truck with multiple batteries and drive axle options, providing a typical range of 370 km (dependent on vehicle configurations). As a result, the eCascadia is ideally suited to metro or short-haul routes that allow for depot-based charging, including last mile logistics, local and regional distribution, and warehouse-to-warehouse applications.
Within the context of its global platform strategy, Daimler Truck is deploying a globally uniform basic architecture for all-electric trucks: the ePowertrain. After introducing the Mercedes-Benz eActros last year and the Mercedes-Benz eEconic later this year, the Freightliner eCascadia is the next product to feature the in-house developed ePowertrain in connection with Daimler Truck North America’s Detroit brand.
The eCascadia is driven by an eAxle integrated with an electric motor, transmission and specialised electronics within a compact unit. It is available with a dual electric motor (470 hp) or a single motor (320 hp). Customers can choose between three battery options for a range of sizes and average, zero-to-full charging times;
- 194 kWh (one and a half to three hours)
- 291 kWh (two to four hours)
- 438 kWh (two to six hours)
Electric trucks are just one part of the overall electric ecosystem. Among other considerations, fleet operators looking to integrate electric trucks into their operations need capable chargers to reliably and efficiently provide power. Detroit eConsulting is a customer-focused solution to make electrification for fleets approachable. Dedicated consulting teams assist with planning for customers’ needed infrastructure and offer a comprehensive line of Detroit eFill Chargers for a seamless and efficient charging solution.
Australian customers looking to reap fuel savings benefits from the new eCascadia will have to wait for the time being. But the word on the street is if you’re keen to get hold of one when they become available, get your name on the wait list early.
*Calculated figure only.