E-quipment highlight: Daimler, Hexagon partner on electric utility trucks

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Daimler Trucks’ Freightliner brand trucks are industry leaders in the medium and heavy-duty vocational truck market. Now, they’re going to be leaders in the zero emission work truck market, too, thanks to their partnership with Hexagon Purus.

One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of commercial fleet electrification has very little to do with the truck itself, and everything to do with the availability of aftermarket and upfit options for the utility, sweeper, dump truck, hook towing, and other specialty segments of the market. The majority of upfitting options are still focused on that diesel-powered, 12V market – and that’s what this partnership between Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and Hexagon Purus seeks to address.

The partnership will see Hexagon’s “complete vehicle integration” incorporate the Freightliner eM2’s battery systems, auxiliary modules, power modules, and vehicle-level software to provide power-take-off (PTO) capable of supplying power to vocational bodies and equipment from companies like Altec, who offer bucket, crane, and digger derrick bodies.

Freightliner electric bucket truck

Daimler Truck North America Enters Strategic Partnership with Hexagon Purus for Battery Electric Freightliner eM2 for Vocational Applications
Freightliner eM2 shown with Hexagon-integrated Altec aerial bucket.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Hexagon Purus and the potential it holds for the future of electric vocational trucks,” Aaron Scates, vice president of vocational and medium-duty market development at DTNA said last year, when the partnership was first announced. “With our shared history, combined experience, and the remarkable battery technology offered by Hexagon Purus, we look forward to yielding effective and flexible solutions for our vocational customers.”

This partnership is just the latest between DTNA and Hexagon Purus – with the latter company having lent its pressurized container expertise to Freightliner during the development of its compressed natural gas (CNG) models, as well as providing tanks and other equipment for hydrogen storage.

Electrek’s Take

No matter how good a BEV is, if it can’t power the tools and equipment needed to do the job, a good commercial fleet manager is going to go out and find something that will. That’s why projects like this one, built off of Freightliner’s eM2 MD electric work truck, are great to see.

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