Daimler Unveils Freightliner Medium-Duty eM2 Truck

Suited for Pickup and Delivery, Production Begins in Fall
Daimler Truck NA CEO John O'Leary with the eM2
Daimler Truck NA CEO John O'Leary with the eM2, which is ready to order. (DNTA)

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ANAHEIM, Calif. – Daimler Truck North America premiered the Freightliner eM2, the latest entry in its line of electric vehicles, during the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo May 2.

“Today, we welcome the Freightliner eM2 to further expand our application coverage and to give customers another zero-emission choice,” said DTNA CEO John O’Leary during the unveiling announcement. “The eM2 will be a fantastic fit for inner urban pickup and delivery, and coming soon for vocational applications.”

The eM2 will be offered in two configurations: a Class 6 single-motor version which provides up to 190 continuous horsepower from a 194-kWh battery and a typical range of 180 miles on a single charge; and a Class 7 dual-motor version, which provides up to 255 continuous hp from a 291-kWh battery and a typical range of 250 miles per charge.

Built on DTNA’s M2 106 Plus platform and introduced on the heels of the series production Freightliner eCascadia Class 8 electric tractor, the eM2 expands the company’s CO2-neutral transportation offerings to the medium-duty segment. Coming to market with a familiar platform is intended to maintain standards customers expect, said Greg Treinen, DTNA director for on-highway market development.

“Having a smooth transition for our customers in that space to battery-electric, and having a lot of the same benefits that our customers experience today with the M2106 Plus will allow our customers — our fleets and our drivers — to have a level of familiarization with [the eM2],” he said.

DTNA's Rakesh Aneja

Aneja says the eM2 accumulated more than 1.5 million test miles in real-world use. (Michael Freeze/Transport Topics)

Rakesh Aneja, DTNA VP and chief of eMobility, stressed the company’s aim to broaden its lineup of CO2-neutral vehicles by 2039 in Europe, North America and Japan.

“In the last five years, we are extremely proud to have rolled out four models of electric vehicles in North America, out of 10 globally,” he said. “[The eM2] is generation two, which means a series of production tools, production processes and production truck plant settings.”

Company officials said the eM2 is ready to order and is scheduled to start production in fall of 2023 at Daimler’s Portland truck manufacturing plant.

Daimler Truck Financial will offer financing options specifically tailored to both vehicles and charging infrastructure, including lease and retail loan options, revolving lines of credit, floorplan financing, and construction and real estate loans.

The lease structure is designed to ease the initial up-front investment to make adding EVs more accessible for fleets, and help control costs predictable payments and specific back-end risk terms and conditions.

Aneja also noted that DTNA has put the truck through its paces.

“Utilizing the production experience from the eCascadia, the eM2 is the result of extensive co-creation with our customers and years of real-world testing,” Aneja noted, adding that the eM2 accumulated more than 1.5 million test miles in real-world use with nearly 50 real fleets operating across the West Coast, New Jersey and Canada.

The eM2 features a proprietary, integrated, battery-electric Detroit ePowertrain, including Detroit eAxles and batteries. The design packages the electric motor and 2-speed transmission directly with the drive axles. An electric power takeoff option is available for refrigeration applications, enabling selection of refrigeration units that can run on energy from the vehicle’s high-voltage battery.

The truck also features a standard suite of safety systems from Detroit Assurance that includes active brake assist, tailgate warning, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.

DTNA's Katie Rabideau

Rabideau notes the eM2 features a standard suite of safety systems from Detroit Assurance. (Michael Freeze/Transport Topics)

“This is crucial, as these vehicles are going to be very often operating in populated urban environments with traffic and a lot of people,” said Katie Rabideau, DTNA eMobility product marketing manager. “This is both going to be an important safety feature for the community as well as for the driver.”

The eM2 also is equipped with offerings from Detroit Connect, such as charging information and vehicle health data. Fleet managers can also plan routes with real-time range prediction that updates automatically for traffic, weather, topography and other conditions.

eM2 battery indicator

The eM2 expands DTNA’s CO2-neutral transportation offerings to the medium-duty segment. (Michael Freeze/Transport Topics) 

DTNA will begin running an eM2 vocational innovation program to focus on providing zero-emission solutions for vocational customers and applications. This program targets the utility, sweeper, dump, towing and recovery, and refuse segments.

The goal with the eM2 vocational innovation program is to offer operators the familiarity and experience of the M2 chassis while allowing for consistency and ease in the transition to battery-electric operations, the company said.

DTNA is also partnering with Detroit eConsultants to assist customers with infrastructure issues such as scale, charging needs, energy storage options, and rebate and incentive considerations.

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