Mercedes-Benz Trucks  has announced that the battery-electric eActros LongHaul long-distance truck will be its headline display at this year’s IAA Transportation Expo this September in Hanover.

Mercedes first announced the eActros LongHaul in 2020 and now two years later the “concept prototype” will be seen in public for the first time.

The company has emphasised that the eActros LongHaul to be shown at IAA is a preview of the design theme of the series-production vehicle.

The prime mover unit is also part of the eActros LongHaul test fleet with the first prototypes already undergoing intensive testing and they will be tested on public roads later this year.

In the coming year, near- production prototypes will got to customers for real-world use testing while series production readiness is planned for 2024.

Mercedes-Benz says that on a single battery charge the eActros LongHaul will have a range of around 500 kilometers. The e-truck will enable high-performance charging – or so-called “megawatt charging.”

In addition to the eActros LongHaul, Mercedes-Benz Trucks  says it will also present other new battery-electric trucks at IAA, which is promising to be the biggest arrays of zero emission commercial vehicles ever displayed at a major global truck expo.

Benz said the eActros for heavy-duty distribution transport has been in series production at its Wörth plant since October 2021, while the eEconic for municipal use will follow and is due to go into production next month (July 2022).

The company says it is pursuing it’s goal of increasing the proportion of locally CO2-neutral new vehicles in Europe to more than 50 per cent by 2030.

 “The electrification of heavy long-distance transport is the next milestone on our road to CO2-neutrality,” Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

 “The eActros LongHaul is a battery-electric vehicle which is planned to be economically feasible for our customers,” said  Rådström.

“My team and I look forward to presenting this innovative truck to our customers and the public in September,” she added.

As part of its pre-launch communications for IAA, Mercedes-Benz Trucks published the first teaser images of the eActros LongHaul concept prototype and announced further technical specifications planned for the production vehicle.

 Benz has revealed that the batteries used in the eActros LongHaul use lithium-iron phosphate cell technology (LFP), which are , above all characterised, by a long service life and more usable energy.

The company claims that the batteries can be charged from 20 to 80 per cent in well under 30 minutes at a charging station with an output of about one megawatt.

The long range on a single charge in combination with megawatt charging results in overall ranges on a par with conventional trucks and enabling two-shift operations it said.

It added that the eActros offers a well-balanced driveline delivering a pleasant driving experience, as well as featuring the manufacturer’s numerous safety innovations.

 Mercedes-Benz Trucks says the  ore of its concept for battery-electric long-distance transport is to offer its customers “a holistic solution consisting of vehicle technology, consulting, charging infrastructure and services”.

 The eActros LongHaul should be the right choice for customers in terms of profitability, sustainability and reliability.

 Mercedes-Benz  said in its press release that battery-electric drives have the “highest efficiency among alternative drives”.

 “The eActros LongHaul, as a result, provides a high level of energy efficiency with its purely battery-electric drive, giving transport companies significant economic advantages in eActros LongHaul’s intended use scenarios,” the company said.

 The company said that the lion’s share of long-distance transport applications in transporters’ operational practices don’t require a range beyond the approximately 500 km the eActros LongHaul makes possible on a single charge.

 Of course that applies to its European sphere of operations where the brand sells most of its trucks each year.

In addition it said, legal restrictions on the driving times for truck drivers limit the need for longer ranges, depending on the case.

 For example, truck drivers in the EU must take a minimum of a 45-minute break after a maximum of 4.5 hours of driving, with Benz pointing out that during this time energy for the remaining route will be able to be recharged.

 “Therefore, the eActros LongHaul is the right choice for transport companies when used regularly on routes that can be planned, given appropriate distances and charging options,” according to Mercedes-Benz  

 Daimler Truck, and its market rivals Traton and Volvo, have all signed a binding agreement to establish a joint venture for public charging for long-distance transport in Europe. The JV  provides for the establishment and operation of a public high-performance charging network for battery-electric heavy-duty long-distance trucks and coaches across Europe.

 The charging networks of these three companies should be available to fleet operators in Europe, regardless of brand.

Meanwhile Mercedes-Benz Trucks is working with Siemens Smart Infrastructure and ENGIE for depot charging infrastructure.

 Daimler Truck is also participating in the “high-performance charging in long-distance truck transport” (HoLa) project, which has the goal of planning, construction and operation of a selected high-performance charging infrastructure for battery-electric long-haul trucking.

 Two high-performance Megawatt Charging System (MCS) charging points will be set up at four locations in Germany and tested in real-world use. Various other consortium partners from industry and research are involved in the project.

Daimler Truck’s  stated ambition by 2039 is to only offer new vehicles that are CO2-neutral when driving (‘tank-to-wheel’) in Europe, Japan and North America.

Two battery-electric models, the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro and the Mercedes-Benz eActros have been in series production since 2018 and 2021 respectively.

 In the second half of this decade the company aims to add series-production trucks with hydrogen-based fuel cell drives to its range of vehicles with the ultimate goal  being to have only CO2-neutral transport on the road by 2050.