German auto-making conglomerate Daimler AG has unveiled what it is billing as the world's first ever all-electric light truck.
Manufactured by subsidiary Mitsubishi FUSO, the truck was revealed at an event this week in New York City.
While other electric trucks have been produced in the past, this truck, called the FUSO eCanter, will be the first electric light truck designed for series production.
Powering the truck is a large array of six lithium-ion battery packs, each with a capacity of 13.8 kWh.
On a full charge, the truck is reportedly able to travel a total distance of approximately 100km, while carrying 3.5 metric tonnes of cargo.
Daimler believes that switching to electric power, rather than gasoline or diesel can lead to significant cost savings for freight providers, with the company claiming that they would be able to save over $1000 per 10,000km driven.
The company also touted the reductions in noise and greenhouse gas pollution that their electric trucks would allow.
“In times, when everybody is talking about electric trucks, we are the first to actually commercialize a series produced all-electric truck. Having a long history in alternative drivetrains, we are proud to step into this new era,” said Marc Llistosella, Head of Daimler Trucks Asia.
“Our new FUSO eCanter now addresses the increasing global demand for products to meet and exceed high CO2 emission standards. It offers an attractive and cost-effective alternative to combustion engines and makes electric trucks key to the future of inner-city distribution.”
Demonstrating the seriousness of their commitment to push forward with this vehicle, Daimler is already planning to deliver the FUSO eCanter to commercial customers in the US, Europe, and Japan.
All up the company plans to deliver a first run of 500 of these electric trucks, with UPS announced as the first US-based customer to begin using the vehicle.
As well, Daimler plans to deliver vehicles to a number of non-governmental organizations also as a way of trialing their performance.
Once these trials have been completed, and the vehicle has proven itself in a commercial setting, Daimler then plans to begin mass production in 2019.