This year, Tesla unveiled its Master Plan, Part Deux, and one of the promises it made was an all-electric heavy-duty truck, which would greatly reduce carbon emissions and shipping costs. It may need to speed up realizing that promise if it wants to be the first company to do so, though, as competitors are already hard at work on their own electric semis.
The fully loaded Urban eTruck is a 26 ton, all-electric vehicle that can carry 57,320 pounds of cargo and run for 200 km (124 miles) on a single charge. That charge comes courtesy of three lithium-ion battery modules, but the modular design of the truck allows for more battery packs to be installed.
The Urban eTruck has no side mirrors. Instead, cameras on both sides of the truck transmit a live video feed to a panel just left of the steering wheel.
Mercedes installed a virtual monitoring system on the truck. It uses data like weight and expected driving time to determine whether there is enough juice stored to last the entire trip. If it sees that the truck will be stretched to the limit, it shifts the driving mode to the less power-intensive of its three options.
The company has been testing the truck since April and expects the first customer trial results by 2017. They hope to have the technology integrated into their trucks within the next decade.