Mercedes-Benz Trucks is planning customer trials of its small series, heavy-duty eTruck for short-radius distribution. Part of Daimler Trucks’ electric vehicle initiative, the trial involves handing over the new trucks to selected customers from different industry sectors throughout Europe.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ global head, Stefan Buchner, says the plan follows the successful premiere of the vehicle at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in Germany in September last year.

“We are currently talking to around 20 potential customers from the disposal, foodstuffs and logistics sector,” Buchner says. “With the e-Truck we are rapidly taking the next step towards a series product. By 2020 we want to be on the market with the production version.”

With zero emissions, no noise pollution and a payload of 12,8 tons, the Urban eTruck offers an impressive economical and environmentally friendly concept. “The vehicle will initially go for trials to customers in Germany – and later to those in Europe too.”

Buchner adds that the aim of the trials is to use actual application scenarios and requirement profiles to optimise the vehicle’s capabilities and system configurations. “The tests will include use in shift operation, charging times plus battery and range management,” he says.

He says that in order to meet various application possibilities, the eTruck could be configured with a refrigerated body, as a dry box body or as a platform vehicle.

The trial trucks will be handed over to customers to use for a period of 12 months, supported by Mercedes-Benz Trucks’s road testing department.

The company will record the areas of application during the trial to gather data for comparison.

Buchner adds that the Urban eTruck is part of Daimler’s broader electric truck initiative, which will see 150 light-duty Fuso eCanter trucks handed over for tests to selected customers in Europe, Japan and the United States.