Daimler AG has begun delivering its all-electric eCanter trucks to customers in the US — with a delivery of 3 units to the United Parcel Service (UPS) representing the first — according to recent reports.
“The game has started,” commented Daimler Trucks Asia head Mark Llistosella, in an interview with Reuters.
Here’s more from that coverage: “The Fuso eCanter is a relatively small urban delivery truck, but Llistosella said larger, Class 7 electric trucks are coming and hinted that Daimler will show a larger electric truck at the Tokyo Motor Show next month.
“Daimler said at a news conference in New York on Thursday that UPS will deploy 3 of the eCanter trucks, while 4 New York based non-profit organizations will get a total of 8 electric trucks. The trucks have a range of about 62 miles (100 kms between charges.
“Daimler is leasing the trucks to UPS, Llistosella said, because within about two years ‘we know there will be a next level of technology’ that will produce batteries with longer range, lower cost and lower weight.”
That’s probably a sensible approach, as it will allow Daimler to probably easily retain the customers in question.
Llistosella noted that the only thing holding up a large-scale deployment of electric buses was battery costs, which are expected to fall rapidly in the coming years.
With that in mind, it’s notable that Daimler is reportedly limiting sales of the new all-electric eCanter to 500 or so vehicles during the first two productions years.
Notably, Llistosella claimed in the interview with Reuters that “the market demand is much higher” — which matches with the accounts given by many industry analysts in recent years.
In related news, Tesla is now planning to show a prototype of its electric semi truck on October 26th.