Freightliner eCascadia electric semi: Production version bows, will be made this year

After testing with customers, the Freightliner eCascadia electric semi truck debuted in production-ready form Monday.

Production is scheduled to start later this year at Freightliner’s Portland, Oregon, factory, the company said in a press release. Freightliner claims to have about 700 orders for the truck.

The production eCascadia will be available with single or tandem e-axles. A 291-kwh battery pack will be available with the single drive axle. A 438-kwh pack will be available with the single or tandem-drive configurations.

Freightliner eCascadia

Freightliner eCascadia

Freightliner quoted a maximum 230-mile range for the single-drive powertrain with the larger battery pack, 155 miles for the smaller pack, and 220 miles for the tandem-drive powertrain. All are at least a small improvement over the roughly 150-mile range of the preproduction versions Freightliner has tested with customers over the past few years.

Outputs will range from 320 hp and 470 hp, with a maximum gross combined weight (GCW) of 82,000 pounds, Freightliner said.

Parent Daimler also plans to offer what it calls a “holistic ecosystem” of services, including helping customers with charging stations and supporting solar and energy-storage installation.

Freightliner eCascadia

Freightliner eCascadia

Freightliner unveiled its first eCascadia pre-production models in 2019. Daimler said trucks had accumulated more than a million real-world miles as of last year—with lower driver fatigue as an added bonus to reduced emissions.

California is looking to the eCascadia for a big portion of its test fleet of 100 electric trucks. Of that total, 80 will be eCascadias, while the other 20 will be Volvo VNR Electric semis. Absent from this and other electric-truck procurements is Tesla, whose Semi has been delayed to 2023.

The eCascadia is a Class 8 commercial truck, but Daimler emphasizes that it’s for short hauls only. A coalition of states is looking at what it would take to make all heavy-duty trucks electric by 2050. For starters, it would take a whole different kind of truck stop.

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