Daimler Launches Rizon BEV Truck Brand in US

Daimler Trucks has launched a new BEV medium-duty truck brand in the US as it targets expected growing demand for electrified commercial vehicle products.

Its sub-brand Rizon is squaring up to competitors in this segment including Isuzu and Toyota’s truck and bus unit Hino Motors. Reuters reports truck makers have long anticipated a shift to BEVs offering lower maintenance costs but the higher purchase price and a lack of adequate charging infrastructure has been a major hurdle to rapid uptake. However, truck makers believe adoption of BEVs by businesses will make more sense than for private passenger vehicles because commercial fleet managers are used to handling short-life, high mileage vehicles where maintenance costs have a bigger impact on profitability than vehicle residual values.

Rizon will offer Class 4 and 5 trucks with lithium iron phosphate (LIP) battery technology and start production in the third quarter of 2023, Andreas Deuschle, the global head of Rizon, said on a call with media outlets. Distribution will start in the fourth quarter through an exclusive agreement with Velocity Vehicle Group.

Depending on the battery variant, Rizon trucks will offer a range of 75 miles to 110 miles or 110 miles to 160 miles. The company said it would target customers involved in urban retail logistics, last-mile deliveries and municipal work with the medium-duty vehicles. Daimler already makes a medium-duty Freightliner eM2 106 for distribution purposes such as beverage delivery and the heavy-duty Freightliner eCascadia, an 18-wheeler, aimed at regional distribution and port services with a range of up to 230 miles.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this month proposed drastic emissions reductions for new cars and trucks to 2032, a move it said could mean two-thirds of new vehicles sold would be electric within a decade. Stricter rules for medium-duty vehicle are projected to cut emissions by 44% over 2026.

Karl Deppen, head of Daimler Truck Asia, said purchase prices were falling for some vehicles that received different grants and interest in BEVs was rising based on their quietness and comfort compared with diesel trucks. He said: “There’s a lot of drive towards locally emission-free vehicles and BEVs and that’s the perfect opportunity here.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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