Daimler unveils new Rizon electric trucks for U.S. market

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Freightliner and Western Star have a new sibling in the U.S., with Daimler Truck launching the new Rizon brand of medium-duty electric trucks.

The Class 4-5 vehicle configurations will be distributed exclusively by Velocity Vehicle Group, which will also offer maintenance, consulting on AC and DC charging, and financing through Daimler Truck Financial Services.

Potential applications will include dry vans, flatbeds, landscape dumps, and refrigerated units, Daimler Truck said in a streamed launch, referring to the vehicles with 175- and 187-inch wheelbases.

Rizon electric trucks
Rizon electric trucks will be available in three models. (Photo: Daimler Truck)

Three Rizon models will be available, delivering various operating ranges and gross vehicle weights of 15,995 to 17,995 lb. The 124-kWh e18L and e16L will offer ranges of 110 to 160 miles (177 to 258 km) with three battery packs, and the 83-kWh e16M will have a range of 75 to 100 miles (121 to 161 km) supported by two battery packs.

Batteries can be replenished using Level 2 AC chargers or CCS1 DC fast chargers, and they’ll be mounted below the frame — protected during any side impacts by a safety frame.

The eAxle that delivers the motion combines the electric drive module, inverter and gearbox into a single assembly, eliminating the manual driveline with a prop shaft.

Safety systems will include the OEM’s Active Brake Assist and Active Side Assist, and Lane Departure Warnings, while data will be delivered through a factory-fitted telematics offering. A factory-installed ePTO is also available as an option.

The proprietary powertrain, chassis and cab are covered by a five-year, 75,000-mile (120,000-km) warranty, while the high-voltage batteries are covered for five years and 120,000 miles (193,000 km).

Velocity Vehicle Group

Velocity has 80 outlets spread across the U.S., Mexico, and Australia, and will be appointing other Rizon dealers in U.S. states that are outside the dealership group’s existing catchment areas. Today’s locations in the U.S. southwest and southeast will be joined by partners in Texas and the northeast by the end of 2023 – when the combined network will also boast more than 50 150-kW charging stations from Detroit eFill and Siemens.

“We’ve collaborated with Daimler Truck early in their development stages of the Freightliner eCascadia and the eM2, by supporting the innovation fleets here in Southern California. And we’ve been running electric trucks in our own fleet,” said Velocity Vehicle Group president Brad Fauvre. “I’ve also serviced all the trucks all the way from the early pilot projects through to the current state of operational trucks.”

Upfront costs will be comparable to diesel-powered Class 4 and 5 units when leveraging grants available in California, he added.

The first units will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2023, with initial rollouts in Southern California, Los Angeles and San Diego.

“We know this is a very demanding segment,” said Daimler Truck Board of Management’s Karl Deppen. “The Rizon brand is truly built for business. We wanted to cater to the specific needs of that segment and that is different from longhaul transportation. That is different from heavy-duty applications.

“This is really a new experience in that particular segment, setting a remarkable differentiation from other products.”

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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