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Freightliner ready to produce eM2 electric truck, eyes vocational uses

May 29, 2023 Admin No Comments

Freightliner ready to produce eM2 electric truck, eyes vocational uses

Freightliner’s eM2 medium-duty electric truck has evolved from a rolling laboratory into a work-ready vehicle, with Daimler Truck announcing plans to begin series production this fall.

Building on the OEM’s established M2 106 truck platform, the Class 6 eM2 and its 194-kWh battery capacity will have a typical range of 180 miles (290 km), while the Class 7 with 291 kWh of power will travel up to 250 miles (400 km) on a full charge.


At launch, the trucks will come with 26-foot bodies including flatbeds, dry vans, and even refrigerated units, the latter of which will be supported by an ePTO available on Class 7 models. Penske was showcasing one of the refrigerated units at ACT Expo, complete with a Thermo King reefer.

“Utilizing the production experience from the eCascadia, the eM2 is the result of extension co-creation with our customers and years of real-world testing,” said Rakesh Aneja, vice-president and chief of eMobility at Daimler Truck North America.

Several lessons have been gleaned from the “innovation fleet” that placed pre-production models in customer hands. Even the source of motive power has changed. A proprietary Detroit ePowertrain and Detroit eAxles replace components from third-party suppliers such as Meritor, and batteries will be managed the same way as those found in the truck’s Class 8 sibling.

Innovation Fleet lessons

Rakesh Aneja, vice-president and chief of eMobility at Daimler Truck North America

Similar batteries, axles, and high-voltage components will all play a role in refining the ultimate production processes.

Integrating the motor in the axle rather than using a central location, the OEM was able to eliminate the traditional driveline, added Katie Rabideau, eMobility product marketing manager, during a media event. “We’re also optimizing weight and space by integrating it with the axle, versus consuming precious space where the batteries are currently.”

“By locating the motor on the center of the axle, we can use industry-standard wheel ends, so braking systems, the wheels, the tires, all can be shared with what we are spec’ing on our diesel vehicles,” she said.

Katie Rabideau, eMobility product marketing manager
Katie Rabideau, eMobility product marketing manager (Photo: John G. Smith)

Even the hood and grille have been updated, both to enhance aerodynamics and offer the styling that signals the eM2 is part of the eCascadia portfolio.

The updates don’t end there. Changes to the HVAC system help better address defrosting needs, air and refrigerant compressors have been replaced, and a single button on the dash offers a central location to lock out the power. That dash also includes a fully customizable information display, and a touchscreen mounted on the B-panel for infotainment, navigation, and charging insights.

Underneath, the batteries are shielded by side-impact guards, but that’s not the only feature included in the name of safety. A Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems includes Active Brake Assist 5.0, tailgate warnings, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, and intelligent high beams.

New eServices available through Detroit Connect deliver charging information and other data about vehicle health, giving fleet managers the tools to plan routes that reflect predicted range and monitor the state of charge for multiple units.

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