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Mercedes-Benz Follows Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Announces All-Electric HD Truck

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Mercedes-Benz announces plan to roll out all-electric HD truck by 2020 with range of 120 miles

Last week, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced an expansion plan to cover all the major forms of terrestrial transport, which included a heavy-duty truck (Tesla Semi) for commercial market. Now, Mercedes-Benz has joined the all-electric semi-trailer truck race, according to Bloomberg.

The German luxury automaker expects to offer zero-emission HD truck in five-year time. Daimler AG, parent company of Mercedes, said earlier today that the vehicle, named ‘Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck,’ will likely have range of 200 km (120 miles) per charge and will be able to handle as much as 26 metric tons of loads.

The vehicle will address “inner-city tasks” like deliveries to supermarkets, and will likely hit the roads by the beginning of the next decade. Truck and car manufacturer are going towards electrification to meet stricter emission standards; though there are limited options due to scarcity of durable batteries to thrust fully-loaded automobile for extensive driving time.

Daimler Trucks head, Wolfgang Bernhard, said, “Until now, there were extremely few commercial vehicles with electric powertrains.” He believes that battery packs now offer significantly better performance, charging times, and costs. American startup, Nikola Motor, expects to unveil an electric truck prototype by the end of this year, which will have the range of 1,200 miles, along with natural gas range extender.  Additionally, Daimler’s Fuso brand is testing 6-ton Canter e-Cell truck.

Although there are limited details on Tesla Semi, we do know that the former Model S Program Director, Jerome Guillen, now heads the truck division. CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla Semi will significantly bring down cargo transport cost and increase safety.

IHS Markit analyst, Tom De Vleesschauwer, believes that commercial customers will be hesitant to buy an unproven technology, but Tesla can overcome those skepticisms by working with Wrightspeed’s CEO Ian Wright, who is also a co-founder of Tesla. Mr. Wright’s company builds electric garbage trucks.

Mr. De Vleesschauwer said that Tesla and Nikola Motor have ignited the market and expects electric trucks sales to account for 4% of American and EU medium and HD truck sales by 2025.

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