BMW’s electric truck goes into service in Munich

A wholly electric, 40-ton heavy goods vehicle hit the roads of Germany this week, although one analyst warned they were unlikely to be a common sight any time soon.

The truck, produced by BMW and logistics company SCHERM, takes 3-4 hours to charge, and has a range of 100 kilometres. It will be used to transport car components from SCHERM's logistics centre to BMW's plant in Munich.

Because it is powered solely by renewable energy, the German carmaker said it will save 11.8 tons of CO2 each year compared to a diesel powered truck.

The 40-ton electric truck owned by BMW has a range of 100kms
The 40-ton electric truck owned by BMW has a range of 100kms

"With our electric truck, we are sending another strong signal for sustainable urban mobility," said Hermann Bohrer, head of the BMW Group Plant in Munich, in a press release.

"We are…proud to be the first automotive manufacturer in Europe to use an electric truck of this size to transport materials on public roads."

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The electric truck will also serve as a test of the feasibility of using electric vehicles for transporting goods and equipment.

"With this project we will gain valuable information on what will be possible with electric trucks in the future for city logistics," Jürgen Maidl, head of logistics at BMW Group, added.

However, one analyst questioned the feasibility of switching to electric-powered heavy goods vehicles.

"It's not really a practical idea at the moment because of battery range," Tim Urquhart, an automotive analyst from IHS, told CNBC via phone.

"If we get the kind of leaps in battery technology in the next decade then it's possible that you might see a proper, full EV heavy truck but at the moment, with a range of 60 miles (100 kilometres), that's not a practical consideration."

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