Daimler Goes After Tesla With Fully-Electric Freightliner Trucks

Daimler Trucks’ leading U.S. truck brand, Freightliner, unveiled two new fully-electric models in the heavy-duty eCascadia and the medium-duty eM2.

The two new e-trucks join the Mercedes eActros, the FUSO eCanter, the Mercedes Citaro EV city buss and the Thomas Built Saf-T Liner C2 Jouley school bus, giving Daimler Trucks & Buses the broadest portfolio of fully-electric commercial vehicles in the world. Over the course of this year, Daimler Trucks will be handing over a fleet of around 30 EV trucks to its first U.S. customers.

“We are the undisputed global leader of the trucking industry and we intend to remain in that position with electric trucks and buses. We were first-movers on electric trucks and strive to set the standard in each relevant segment. With the formation of our new global E-Mobility Group, we will maximize the impact of our investments in this key strategic technology. Thus, we can pursue the best solutions in batteries, charging solutions and energy management,” stated Daimler board member, Martin Daum.

Freightliner eCascadia gunning for Tesla Semi

The new Freightliner eCascadia is of course based on the Cascadia model, which is the most successful heavy-duty long-distance truck in North America. As a fully-electric model, the eCascadia’s 550 kWh batteries provide a range of up to 250 miles (400 km) and can be recharged to roughly 80% within 90 minutes to cover another 200 miles (320 km). As for power output, it generates 730 HP, so compared to the Tesla semi, it’s down on power (presumably) as well as maximum range (up to 600 miles / 966 km according to Elon Musk).

Meanwhile, the medium-duty eM2 is intended more for local distribution operations and last-mile delivery services. Its 325 kWh batteries give it 480 HP and a range of 230 miles (370 km). You can also charge the batteries to around 80% within 60 minutes, which should give you a range of roughly 184 miles (300 km).

“With our trucks and buses we want to make our customers more succesful. This applies to both electric trucks and conventional powertrains. Hence, we designed the Freightliner eCascadia and the eM2 here in the U.S., according to the specific requirements of our customers. As the undisputed market leader in North America, we know that only trucks and buses that fully meet the needs of transport operators will prevail in the market,” stated Dr Frank Reintjes, head of global powertrain and manufacturing engineering at Daimler Trucks.


  • TheBelltower

    Seeing a pattern? Tesla is eating everyone’s lunch. Automakers are having to pivot massively, after decades of complacency.

    • Alfa Giulia QV

      More like they were the first to jump into it and others are playing catch up.

      • TheBelltower

        Tesla wasn’t the first to offer a consumer EV. Arguably, GM was. And then they pulled back because of external pressure. However, Tesla was the first to develop an entire EV ecosystem and direct sales model. Tesla sells more $100k-plus sedans than any of the luxury ICE brands. I’d say that that’s fairly meaningful.

        • Moveon Libtards

          Not hard when they blow through 100s of millions of dollars in American taxpayer subsidies, never make a profit, and sell a few cars here and there.

          The Tesla pyramid scheme is about to go bust. The real companies will take over then…

        • Status

          You’re right up until the direct sales model, as they were far from the first to do so. GM had Saturn, Toyoto had S.T.A.R, and even here, Mercedes has company owned stores as well as dealers.

          • TheBelltower

            I didn’t realize that Saturn wasn’t the standard franchise network model. Though by “ecosystem,” I meant the entire enchilada… from EV supply chain that doesn’t include the standard ICE suppliers, to network chargers, to home charging, to solar, to energy storage.

    • Moveon Libtards

      From a Tesla owner…yup, ok.

      Tesla is NOT MAKING ANY MONEY AND NEVER HAS. It has no money for lunch. It is a fraud that steal American taxpayer money to keep it afloat. At least Mercedes actually makes money. Tesla cant even produce the Model 3…YEARS LATE!

  • PK

    so mercedes benz owns freightliner trucks as well?

    • They have owned it since 1981.

      • Liam Paul

        Mercedes also owns Thomas built buses which itself is owned by Freightliner

  • Alfa Giulia QV

    Considering that Volvo is also making electric semis, they and Daimler are probably going to have more success than Tesla due to them having more experience in the trucking industry whereas Tesla does not.

    • Moveon Libtards

      Exactly. GM too. Just look how GM can produce a mass-market electric vehicle like the Bolt and not only deliver it (unlike Tesla and the Model 3), but even make money from it.

    • Auf Wiedersehen

      I would agree. And to me, The Tesla semi truck looks a little toy like. Compared to the typical truck maker, it seems a little “less durable” to me. A little more amateurish.

      • S3XY

        800 kWh battery pack and the Semi can transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte.

        What kind of toy are you referring to?

        • Auf Wiedersehen


  • Moveon Libtards

    Goes after Tesla?

    Tesla cant even produce a simple sedan let alone a Mercedes competitor. The Chevy Bolt is kicking Tesla all over the place in sales. But that might explain why this site is trying so hard to sell Tesla.

  • wintergraan

    I know that design doesn’t play a major role when it comes to trucks and commercial vehicles. But this truck doesn’t look nowhere near as futuristic and advanced as Tesla’s Semi. Just saying 😉

    • Auf Wiedersehen

      But why does it have to “look” futuristic if it IS under the skin? Presumably Daimler/Freightliner have done their homework on aerodynamics and efficiency. If they are similar in efficiency, the Tesla’s looks “futuristic” for the sake of looking futuristic and therefore has no real value to companies buying it. I think Tesla may be confusing the commercial market with the consumer market by putting emphasis on “looking” a certain way. Trucking companies likely just want the best most efficient truck to go from point “A” to point “B”.

      • wintergraan

        As I’ve said in my first comment, i’m aware of the fact that design isn’t that important for this type of vehicle, rather efficiency, range and things like towing capacity etc. So I’m with you on that.
        However, the Semi’s appearance clearly shows that it isn’t just a regular truck. It’s futuristic design can be seen as a statement for the companies operating these trucks – think of it as a good marketing strategy to demonstrate a company’s future proofness. So it definitely has real value to the companies buying it.
        In case of this Freightliner truck no one will realize that it’s equipped with a fully-electric powertrain because of it’s restrained design.

        • Auf Wiedersehen

          I’m not sure about others, but I don’t look at a semi hauling for a certain company and say “now THERE’S a company I can get behind! Just look at that futuristic truck hauling their products, I can tell they are future-proof” I don’t see value to a company in how a truck hauling cargo looks. If it had value, they would not look like that have for 50-60 years. Tesla THINKS it adds appeal to buy them, like a consumer likes the model S and that is my point, but the guys buying fleets of these trucks care about specs, not looks. Sure they want them to look nice, but it’s not as big a priority than specs. And maybe Tesla will come out on top in this regard, that has yet to be seen. And how does the look of a truck, future-proof ANY company?? Specs is what makes or loses money, money is how they future-proof.

          “In case of this Freightliner truck no one will realize that it’s equipped with a fully-electric powertrain because of it’s restrained design.”

          Consumers don’t care! Dollars they spend is all they care about, and how many they can save. Not how a trucking company’s fleet looks.


  • Jason Miller

    Seems to me like they need to up their range game if the Tesla numbers are to be believed. And that is far more important here than in a typical passenger car.

    • brn

      It depends. For long haul truckers, yes. However, many trucks operate within a limited range of a distribution center. For those, this range may be acceptable.

  • Spyder Hole Fantome

    As you can see, these Tesla fanboys have consumed tons of Musk’s koolaid… their reasoning skills are now shot!

  • TheBelltower

    By features, Tesla is more of a “premium” brand. Though by price and by conquest sales, it’s definitely in the luxury space.

  • SteersUright

    Cant wait to see how this shakes out and who really has the best electric truck tech out there for hauling.

  • COOL.

  • Vassilis

    Those range numbers are laughable for a semi.

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