BMW puts a 40-ton electric truck on the road

In a step towards greener goods transportation, BMW and Scherm put a 40-ton electric freight truck in operation in Munich.

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The truck's battery will be charged entirely using renewable energy. BMW

An electric truck has been officially deployed in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, in a partnership between German automobile manufacturer BMW and automotive service provider Scherm. Together, the two companies have put the first 40-ton electric vehicle on public roads.

The truck, designed and built by Dutch truck manufacturer Terberg, will be charged exclusively using energy from renewable sources. It takes 3 to 4 hours to charge completely, and can travel up to 100 kilometres on a full charge, which will allow it to work for a full day on a single charge.

According to BMW and Scherm, the truck is quiet, CO2-free and generates almost no fine particle pollution -- and using renewable energy means the truck will save 11.8 tons of CO2 every year compared to an equivalent diesel truck.

"Bavaria is a leading industrial and research location. It is crucial that the Bavarian economy is also at the forefront in electric mobility," said Bavaria's Minister for Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner, at the truck's launch on July 7, 2015. "BMW is making an important contribution to this and is showing that you can succeed on the global market with sustainable products made by innovative companies."

While electric buses and smaller trucks are becoming more common, these vehicles tend to sit around the 10-ton weight category. The 40-ton electric truck is a first for Europe.

"With our electric truck, we are sending another strong signal for sustainable urban mobility," said Hermann Bohrer, head of the BMW Group Plant. "We are contributing to reducing emissions in the city and are proud to be the first automotive manufacturer in Europe to use an electric truck of this size to transport materials on public roads."

The truck will make 8 2-kilometre trips every day between the BMW Group Plant and Scherm's logistics centre in Munich, transporting vehicle components such as shock absorbers, springs and steering systems, for a total of around 16 kilometres daily.

This may not seem like much, but for the first year, BMW and Scherm will be operating the truck on a trial basis.

"With this project we will gain valuable information on what will be possible with electric trucks in the future for city logistics," said Jürgen Maidl, head of logistics at BMW Group. "The BMW Group, along with our partner the Scherm Group, is once again bravely embarking on a new journey and delivering pioneering work."