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Daimler shows off an electric truck ahead of Tesla

Daimler shows off an electric truck ahead of Tesla


E-Fuso Vision One concept has 217 miles of range, able to haul 11 tons

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E-FUSO Vision One
E-FUSO Vision One

Daimler must have wanted to upstage Tesla in the electric truck games, and took advantage of a world stage to do so.

The German vehicle giant announced Tuesday at the Tokyo Motor Show the E-Fuso Vision One, an electric heavy-duty truck it says is capable of up to 217 miles on a charge after hauling 11 tons. It’s part of a plan by the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus division of Daimler to electrify all of its large vehicles in the future, a solution for hauling companies in cities that are set to ban internal combustion engines.

In its most capable configuration, the E-Fuso can be equipped with a battery pack for up to 300 kWh of capacity to achieve that range. While Daimler doesn’t give much information in the way of fast-charging capabilities, its implied in the press release that “mature markets” for EVs such as Japan and Europe could have the infrastructure ready for such a vehicle in the next few years.

Their claim sounds vague, but governments will undoubtedly be under pressure to accommodate the infrastructure EVs demand once internal combustion engine bans are implemented, and that includes making commercial vehicles that comply with those standards. Fuso is already pushing its eCanter light-duty truck in New York City and Japan, with big companies such as 7-Eleven and UPS already signing up to try EVs in their fleet.

But then there’s Tesla. Its truck announcement was delayed from Thursday until November following its severe production problems with the Model 3 and CEO Elon Musk’s desire to help Puerto Rico rebuild its electrical grid following Hurricane Maria. While a range of between 200 and 300 miles was promised, more companies are showing they can do that, too.