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Daimler delivers first electric Freightliner truck in the US

The recipient, Penske, will help Daimler test the truck's capabilities around Los Angeles.

If it weren't for the blue lights up front -- and the fact that it's entirely silent -- you'd be hard-pressed to tell the eM2 apart from more conventional box trucks.

They might not be going on sale until 2021, but the first all-electric Freightliner eM2 box truck is now in the US for two years of real-world testing.

Daimler announced Friday that it has handed over the first Freightliner eM2 in Los Angeles. The lucky recipient, Penske Truck Leasing Corporation, will help Daimler test the truck's real-world capabilities ahead of a production launch in 2021.

The Freightliner eM2 is a big truck, but it has one seriously big battery, too, measuring 325 kWh in capacity. With 480 peak horsepower on tap, the eM2 has an estimated range of 230 miles -- making it a solid candidate for local deliveries and other last-mile logistics. Daimler claims the batteries can be charged up to 80 percent capacity in just 60 minutes, but it didn't say what kind of charger is required for that.

Over the course of the next year, Penske will see 20 electric Freightliner trucks in its "innovation fleet," comprising 10 eM2 medium-duty trucks and 10 eCascadia heavy-duty trucks. The eCascadia will be even beefier, packing a 550-kWh battery, 730 hp and an estimated range of 250 miles.

This won't be the last you'll hear from Daimler Trucks in the next couple weeks. The German automaker will also be at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, where it intends to make an announcement about its efforts in automated driving. Roadshow will be in the thick of it at CES, so keep your eyes peeled for more information in the second week of January.

The eCascadia features the same wheels and light treatments as the eM2, but the truck's range isn't too different.