Daimler Trucks, which already owns Freightliner and Western Star, is putting a new brand on the U.S. market later this year. Dubbed Rizon, the medium-duty Class 4 and Class 5 haulers are battery-electric vehicles ranging from 15,995 to 17,995 pounds in gross vehicle weight. These are the kinds of city workhorses usually put to work as box trucks and refrigerated trucks for delivery and minicipal fleets, dump trucks, and flatbeds. Daimler hasn’t addressed the source of Rizon’s line yet, but Freightwaves suspects these are rebadged versions of Japanese truckmaker Mitsubishi Fuso’s eCanter. Daimler Trucks owns 89.3% of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, which launched the latest version of the eCanter for Europe last September. The additions expand Daimler Trucks’ commercial e-footprint, along with the Class 6 Freightliner eM2 106 and the Class 8 Freightliner eCascadia.
Three Rizon models will go on sale through a network of U.S. dealers in Q4, the e16M, e16L and e18L. The M model runs with two 83-kWh battery packs providing a range from 75 to 100 miles. The L models boast three larger 124-kWh packs extending range to anywhere from 110 to 160 miles on a charge. Daimler chose lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries for their extended durability and reliability compared to other chemistries. The company will warranty the high-voltage packs for 5 years or 120,000 miles, and the rest of the truck and powertrain for 5 years or 75,000 miles. The company says charging using a Level 2 AC system refills the battery in “five to six hours,” whereas using the DC fast charge system “will result in a full charge in 45 to 90 minutes.”
To help the fleet customers that Rizon is targeting first, Daimler Truck and distribution partner Velocity will offer consultation on charging and telematics access, plus a sales force and technicians trained on the ins and outs of commercial electric vehicles.
Sales start in Southern California, New York and Texas. These are also the states where Daimler just announced the launch of its charging infrastructure joint venture Greenlane. Developed with NextEra Energy Resources and private equity firm BlackRock, the $650 million initiative will build out a charging network along popular freight routes for medium- and heavy-duty battery-electric trucks that has refilling stations for hydrogen fuel-cell trucks. When up and running, dedicated software will include a commercial vehicle reservation platform to make charging more efficient even before plugging in. Eventually, the project wants to make space for light-duty vehicles after opening the way for electric trucks and then hydrogen trucks.
The Rizon makes its debut here at next week’s Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, running May 1-4 in Anaheim, California.