With urban pollution as a major issue for the upcoming decades, authorities are now also taking a long look at the diesel commercial traffic – trucks and buses.

The electric buses are becoming increasingly common and the technology is now trying to mature itself in order to cope with the demands commercial trucks would have. The new Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck concept is looking to address just that and a production version model could become a reality as fast as 2020. This is an Antos-series based eTruck, and it’s also the first fully electric heavy truck, with a total operational weight of 26,000 kilograms (57,320 pounds). Having a three-axle rigid frame means the truck will be a solution for the usual urban multi-drop work, with each journey very short and thus delivering lots of pollution.

The battery packs – three lithium-ion units – have been mounted within the chassis and will deliver power to the driven second axle, packing an electric motor adjacent to each wheel hub. Mercedes hasn’t released detailed specifications but said the concept has a range of 200 kilometers (124 miles). “Electric drive systems previously only saw extremely limited use in trucks. Nowadays costs, performance and charging times develop further so rapidly that now there is a trend reversal in the distribution sector: the time is ripe for the electric truck,” commented Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler-Benz board representative for the truck division. Mercedes added it will strive to deliver a production version by 2020.