Daimler Truck Launches Rizon Medium-Duty EV

DTNA Also Announces Greenlane Charger Joint Venture
Rizon truck
Rizon truck with van body by Daimler Truck AG

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Daimler Truck unveiled Rizon, its newly branded lineup of Class 4 and Class 5 medium-duty electric trucks, during a press conference April 27.

With the U.S. release of its latest EV, Daimler is positioning to enter the growing segment of last-mile delivery as well as applications such as dry vans, flatbeds, landscape dumps and reefers.

The head of Daimler Truck Asia, Karl Deppen, introduced the medium-sized EV as “everything a diesel truck does, just without the diesel.”

“No more compromises, no more trade-offs, just safe, reliable trucks that are easy to use and which don’t emit CO2,” he said. “For so long, that seemed like the Holy Grail of electric trucks — something far over the horizon. But now we are there. That’s what inspired the name, Rizon.”

Deppen also cited Daimler’s experience in the EV field from launches of its Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner and Western Star brands. Rizon will be the company’s ninth EV brand.

“[Our EVs] are all made under strict quality assurance standards, which are echoed at more than 40 manufacturing locations around the world,” Deppen explained. “Naturally, all Rizon vehicles will be built just the same way … developed based on our industry-leading electric truck expertise.”

The Class 4 and Class 5 medium-duty battery-electric vehicles — ranging from 15,995 pounds to 17,995 pounds in gross vehicle weight — are able to run 110 to 160 miles (for L-size variant with three battery packs) and 75 to 110 miles (for M-size variant with two battery packs) on a single charge.

“Many truck customers need for their inner-city operations a range of less than 100 miles a day, while others need up to 150 miles to go around the city,” said Andreas Deuschle, head of international sales and customer services for Daimler Truck Asia. “We have chosen lithium iron phosphate batteries because we think they provide to Class 4-5 truck customers the best combination of safety, weight and range.”

He noted that AC and DC charging options will be standard on Rizon. “Depending on the battery size, AC charging takes five to six hours while DC charging takes 45 to 90 minutes,” Deuschle said. “We are sure that within these options, our customers will find their perfect match of truck, application, battery and charges.”

Deuschle also stated that his team received positive feedback from their partners who test drove the Rizon units, noting that the EV is “easy to drive” and feels like “a real truck” with “zero vibrations with a pragmatic design.”

“This is very much the intention when we designed the Rizon truck,” he said. “Taking the best of the diesel vehicle world and enhance it with zero-emission features.”

Rizon truck and logo

Rizon truck and logo by Daimler Truck AG.

In addition, Velocity Vehicle Group was announced as the exclusive distributor for Rizon in the U.S. market. The partnership includes “360-degree offerings” from truck sales to financing, which includes a warranty package of five years covering the battery for 120,000 miles.

Brad Fauvre, president of Velocity, touted the ongoing relationship with Daimler as a partner through the past development stages of the eCascadia and eM2, which is scheduled to unveil at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, May 1-4 in Anaheim, Calif. He stated that the group is on track to reach 50 chargers on line by the fourth quarter, each having a minimal power output of 150 kilowatts.

Fauvre also noted that deliveries will start as soon as fourth quarter this year.

“We believe this is by far the best-engineered truck in the segment, combined with our best-in-class service offering,” he said. “The Rizon truck is an excellent way to start the electric journey.”

Sales of Rizon vehicles will go through Velocity locations in the Southern California area, including Los Angeles and San Diego.

“We will expand our existing network to the Southeast and Southwest. We will also launch additional viewership groups in states outside of the EV footprint,” he added.

The Rizon brand and its vehicle offerings will be presented to the public for the first time at ACT Expo.

Greenlane rendering

Rendering of public charging area  by Greenlane.

In a separate announcement, Daimler Truck North America, along with NextEra Energy Resources and BlackRock Alternatives, announced a joint venture called Greenlane, an initiative to design, develop, install and operate a U.S. nationwide, high-performance zero-emission public charging and hydrogen fueling network for medium- and heavy-duty battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The $650 million venture will address the installment of a nationwide electric charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles, especially for longhaul freight operations.

Greenlane’s first site will be in Southern California, and multiple additional sites are being acquired along various freight routes. The network of charging sites will be built on critical freight routes along the east and west coasts and in Texas.

Greenlane is designed to begin to tackle one of the greatest hurdles to the trucking industry’s decarbonization — infrastructure,” said John O’Leary, president and CEO of DTNA, in a press release. “The nation’s fleets can only transform with the critical catalyst of publicly accessible charging designed to meet the needs for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.”

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