Daimler Trucks North America has announced a new proprietary electric drive train which it is calling  the ‘Detroit ePowertrain’ which it says will be used to power the upcoming Freightliner eCascadia and Freightliner eM2.

The new ePowertrain is part of Daimler Trucks’ global platform strategy to establish a uniform basic architecture for their broad line-up of battery-electric vehicles around the globe.

Its use in North America brings the company what it describes as ‘unprecedented global synergies and economies of scale for CO₂-neutral commercial vehicles’.

Also included in the company’s announcement are plans for a $AUD 26 million ($US 20 million) investment in the Detroit manufacturing facility, which will serve as the North American source for Detroit ePowertrain components.

“By utilising our Detroit ePowertrain to power the Freightliner eCascadia and eM2, we are giving Freightliner buyers the same level of confidence that comes with our conventionally-powered portfolio, known throughout the industry as having the best total cost of ownership – bar none,” said Richard Howard, senior vice president sales and marketing, on-highway segment, DTNA.

“Nowhere else can buyers find the level of performance, support, quality, dedication to uptime, and engineering expertise as with our Detroit product portfolio. Our investment in Detroit – and in the city of the same name – harkens a new era for a storied name in the global automotive landscape,”  Howard added.

Initially, the Detroit ePowertrain will offer an eAxle design operating at 400 volts and be offered in two variants suitable for a variety of commercial vehicle applications.

The single motor design is rated at 180 horsepower, delivering maximum torque of up to 11,500 lb-ft of torque, while the dual motor design offers up to 360 horsepower and 23,000 lb-ft of torque.

The Detroit ePowertrain will be mated to the choice of three battery offerings for the eCascadia and eM2, including a 210 kilowatt hour (kWh) version, a 315 kWh version, and a 475 kWh version.

Battery packs are comprised of arrays of lithium-Ion prismatic cells. In Detroit’s first ePowertrain offerings, the maximum range specifications will exceed 230 miles on a full charge for the medium-duty eM2 and 250 miles for the Class 8 eCascadia prime mover.

“The combination of Freightliner and Detroit has been delivering an incredible experience to our valued customers for over four decades,” said Rakesh Aneja, head of eMobility at DTNA.

“An integrated ePowertrain from Detroit respects that legacy and moves us into a new era for the industry by improving operational efficiency while simultaneously eliminating tailpipe emissions,” he added.

DTNA says its strong Freightliner dealer network will continue to play an integral part in the future growth of both Detroit and eMobility by providing sales, support and service for the ever-expanding portfolio of Detroit engines, transmissions, axles, safety and connectivity technologies, and, now, ePowertrain systems and battery packs.

The company says that initial production of the Detroit ePowertrain is expected to begin in late 2021. The start of production for both Freightliner models begins in 2022.