Daimler just lately launched a brand new class 4-5 medium-duty electrical truck model, RIZON, and we obtained an opportunity to kick the tires and drive one round.
We got here away impressed at how effectively it drives (for an 18k GVWR automobile) and the way comfy it appears like it will be on lengthy shifts.
Rizon is a brand new model from Daimler Vans focusing solely on zero-emissions within the class 4-5 house. Vans of this dimension don’t require industrial driver’s licenses, and also you’re extra prone to see them round your neighborhood, doing native supply duties, tools leases, transferring companies, and the like. So it’s good to have clear, quiet operation as a substitute of noisy and pungent diesel autos.
Daimler has been within the electrical truck sport for a couple of years now, with its Freightliner eCascadia, eM2 and different autos, which we’ve pushed earlier than. However Freightliner as a model is barely partially electrical, whereas Rizon plans to solely ever make zero-emission vehicles.
To this point, Rizon has 4 fashions obtainable – two sizes, designated e16 and e18 (16k and 18k pound GVWR), with two battery configurations, designated as M and L. The “M” batteries have two 41kWh LFP battery modules, whereas the “L” batteries have three. The vary will rely closely on software, configuration, and cargo, so it’s onerous to place a single quantity on it, however the “M” variations ought to be good for 70-110 miles and the “L” ones for 110-160 miles or so.
One factor to notice is that the smaller “M” battery is 1,100 kilos lighter than the “L” battery, leaving extra of your whole 16k or 18k GVWR to be devoted to payload, slightly than dragging round further batteries. So going with that one may be useful if the payload is extra vital than the vary for autos with shorter mounted routes.
We obtained to take a brief drive within the e18L model at an occasion hosted by Velocity Truck Facilities at Irwindale Speedway, the place we additionally drove Battle Motors’ electrical rubbish truck and the first-ever electrical road sweeper. Occasions like these assist fleet managers get a way of how these EVs will work.
We solely had a partial load although, within the type of an outdated 12-cylinder diesel engine strapped to the mattress. So our expertise wasn’t precisely what it will really feel like totally loaded, however there was a minimum of one thing chunky within the again.
The driving expertise was easy and nimble, nothing like what you’d anticipate from a truck. Regardless that the automobile has a comparatively low 175 peak horsepower (which is within the ballpark of different class 4-5 vehicles – they sometimes aren’t meant to maintain excessive speeds), it has loads of torque at 317lb-ft. And a flat EV torque curve means you don’t must go gear-hunting by a clunky transmission.
Acceleration feels faster than you’d get from a diesel truck, smoother because of the lack of gears, and quieter because of the lack of a loud diesel engine. And easy and quiet is vital – a rumbling diesel engine can add a whole lot of stress to the physique over an extended workday.
Regenerative braking is adjustable, and on the best setting is powerful sufficient, although we’d have appreciated it to be a little bit stronger (particularly if the truck was totally laden). The turning radius was additionally spectacular, particularly on such a big automobile.
Rizon has put a premium on driver consolation in its vehicles, with options which can be extra typically seen on shopper autos than industrial ones. The vehicles have heated seats and steering wheels, three comparatively comfy seats with lumbar help for the driving force, and keyless begin. A touchscreen show covers infotainment capabilities.
Loads of security options come normal, like blind spot warnings, emergency brake help, and lane departure warnings.
Rizon makes use of J1772 and CCS for charging, with 19.2kW AC charging help and 104kW DC. On a category 4 or 5 truck, 19.2kW AC charging may be sufficient for an in a single day cost for many functions.
These decisions make set up simpler than having to put in huge, costly DC chargers and pull the excessive ranges of amperage required to feed them (and commensurate demand charges from some utilities). Presently, a lot of fleets try to determine find out how to incorporate EVs, particularly with huge new truck laws on the California state and US federal degree, and charging has been in focus as a possible level of resistance.
One quirk right here is that Rizon has not but dedicated to NACS. We’ve seen an enormous wave of help for NACS within the light-duty world, however medium- and heavy-duty autos haven’t been fast to hop on board the NACS bandwagon, principally as a result of lots of them are ready for the upcoming Megawatt Cost System (MCS), which Daimler, Tesla and lots of others are concerned in creating.
However Rizon doesn’t plan to make use of MCS, so they may make the swap to NACS. And it might be a useful transfer for industrial clients as a result of one good factor about NACS over J1772 is that it helps 277V enter, which is one section of a 480V three-phase industrial energy provide. This implies cheaper/simpler charging set up for buildings that work off 480V provide. (Our Rizon rep hadn’t heard of this potential profit after we requested them about whether or not the corporate may swap to NACS.)
It’s not that huge a deal to date, and J1772 and NACS are interoperable by way of adapters anyway, however we’re questioning if future Rizon vehicles may make the shift to NACS.
It’s typically onerous to get particular costs within the medium- and heavy-duty world, however Rizon says that the vehicles will “normally spec out within the $150k vary.” That is dearer than the diesel vehicles they exchange, however authorities incentives can be found to get that value down by fairly a bit – with as much as $40,000 in incentives from the Inflation Discount Act and extra incentives obtainable in some states like California. And naturally, you lower your expenses on gas and upkeep over the obligation interval.
General, the Rizon truck represents a pleasant step ahead for medium-duty industrial autos, with easy and quiet operation and important give attention to driver consolation which ought to make this a straightforward promote for drivers and fleet operators.
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