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On the Road: Freightliner electric trucks; Shell Starship; ZF Lane Keep Assist Technology

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Jason Morgan is the editor of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 14 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.

Our travel schedule took the FE team across the country last month. The biggest news was the unveiling of Daimler Trucks all-electric eCascadia and eM2 medium-duty trucks, signaling an all-in approach to electrification. The eCascadia has up to 730 peak HP. The batteries provide 550 Kwh usable capacity, a range of up to 250 miles and have the ability to charge up to 80% (providing a range of 200 miles) in about 90 minutes.

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The eM2 has up to 480 peak HP. The batteries provide 325 Kwh of usable capacity, a range of up to 230 miles and have the ability to charge up to 80% (providing a range of 184 miles) in about 60 minutes. DTNA is aiming to start production in 2021.

Be sure to read Fleet Equipment’s July cover story for an exclusive interview with DTNA president and CEO Roger Nielsen about DTNA’s electric truck strategy.

Shell announced the results of its Starship concept truck, which employs real world technologies. The truck achieved an average of 8.94 MPG (the national average for Class 8 trucks is 6.4) and a freight ton efficiency of 178, which is 248% better than the national average of 72.

At a press event in Indianapolis, ZF demonstrated its OnTrax lane-keep assist technology, which provides lane keeping assistance by applying hand-wheel torque that urges vehicle away from lane boundary. ZF stressed that this is a driver-assistance technology—and the driver is still required to keep his hands on the wheel at all times.

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ZF also announced its new PowerLine automatic transmission, an eight-speed automatic transmission for commercial vehicles up to 57,000 lbs. PowerLine features up to 1,000 lb.-ft. engine torque, ZF patented eight-speed gear set and intelligent skip-shift to improve acceleration performance. ZF plans to release the transmission globally by 2020.

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