Mercedes-Benz Trucks has given its battery-electric eActros its world premiere, unveiling the first series production electric truck to wear the famous three pointed star, which the company says will have a range of up to 400km with a battery capacity of 420kWh.
Mercedes-Benz says the eActros rings in a new era and highlights its ‘clear desire to achieve CO2-neutral road-based goods transport’.
The standard model eActros is scheduled to roll off the production line at its Wörth am Rhein in Germany from the third quarter this year.
Mercedes-Benz says the findings from its “eActros innovation fleet” which commenced in 2018 as well as its close exchanges with customers, have been incorporated into the development of the series-production model.
The standard specification eActros will also feature the many aspects of technology debuted in its latest diesel powered trucks in recent times including MirrorCam and the Multimedia Interactive Cockpit.
The company announced that the battery of the eActros series-production model is equipped with either three or four battery packs, each with an energy capacity of around 105 kWh. The maximum battery capacity of 420 kWh enables ranges of up to 400 kilometres to be achieved with . There are some riders on these figures with Benz saying the range was determined internally in optimum conditions with four battery packs after preconditioning in partly loaded distribution traffic, without a trailer and at an ambient outside temperature of 20 deg.
Mercedes-Benz said that the technological centrepiece of the electric truck is its drive unit, which is a rigid electric axle with two integrated electric motors and a two-speed transmission.
It adds that both of the liquid-cooled motors generate a continuous output of 330 kW with peak power of 400 kW.
In addition Benz says if the eActros is driven with a degree of forward vision and planning then braking regeneration enables it to recover electrical energy, which is then fed back into the batteries is made available for use by the drive system.
The eActros’ two integrated electric motors offer high levels of efficiency and a constant delivery of power with high starting torque according to Benz.
Like all electric trucks the provision of immediate torque by the electric motors, which in this case are coupled to a two-speed transmission, ensures powerful acceleration, impressive driving comfort and driving dynamics which enable more relaxed, low-stress driving than a conventional diesel-powered truck Mercedes-Benz said.
Another factor the company was trumpeting is the lower centre of gravity which is clearly an advantage when it comes to cornering.
Lower noise levels also deliver advantages with drivers experiencing a significant 10dB reduction in noise inside the cab in full-load operations, which roughly corresponds to a halving of perceptible noise volume.
Thanks to those low noise level, Benz points out that things such as late and overnight deliveries become more possible without disturbing nearby residents.
The eActros also delivers noticeably fewer vibrations and is apparently much smoother in driving modes.
Benz claims the truck can be charged with up to 160 kW when connected to a regular 400A DC charging station, with the three battery packs requiring a little more than one hour to charge from 20 to 80 per cent, again so long as the ambient outside temperature is around 20deg C and the batteries are in good condition.
The company also said that in order to assist transport companies along their way to eMobility, the eActros will be marketed with a system that also provides advice and services, as well as a range of digital solutions to increase utilisation of the vehicle and optimise the total cost of ownership.
As an example Benz cited the fact that it is possible to establish a highly realistic and meaningful usage profile for electric trucks using a customer’s existing route plan.
Benz is calling it eConsulting and says that it doesn’t just include electrification of the depot, but also covers questions concerning planning, applying for and implementing everything to do with the charging infrastructure and connection to the electricity network if the customer desires.
As a result Mercedes-Benz Trucks says it has also established a strategic partnership with Siemens Smart Infrastructure, ENGIE and EVBox Group, and if required, it can additionally provide help with identifying available public grants for infrastructure and vehicles.
The truck’s Multimedia Cockpit Interactive allows the driver to constantly be up-to-date with the charge level of the batteries and the remaining range, as well as the current and average energy consumption.
Fleet managers will also be able to use the Fleetboard portal’s digital solutions to efficiently control the fleet. This will also include things such as an individually developed Charge Management System for creating charging profiles, and a logbook containing detailed information on driving times, downtimes and charging breaks.
Benz says there is also a mapping tool which shows the vehicle’s current location in real-time, and whether it is in motion, parked or being charged, as well as how high the battery charge is.
When it is launched in Europe, the eActros will be offered with Mercedes-Benz Complete, which the company says is a service contract including what it calls an ‘All-round Carefree Package’.
Mercedes-Benz Uptime will deliver fully automatic telediagnosis, which will continuously monitor the status of several vehicle systems in the truck in real time. By bundling repair and maintenance requirements, which Benz says will reduce the number of unplanned workshop visits.
Naturally for a truck from Daimler the eActros boasts high levels of safety.
Bewnz cited the example of the special crash elements built into the truck including the integrated aluminium profile designed to protect the batteries in the event of a side-on crash, along with sensors which can detect a crash scenario. If this happens the High Voltage battery would be automatically isolated from the rest of the vehicle. In addition the driver has the option of actuating the HV shutoff at any time in the cab.
The eActros also comes standard with an external Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) to warn other road users like pedestrians and cyclists while Sideguard Assist offers additional safety when turning off to the nearside.
There is also the fifth-generation of Daimler’s Active Brake Assist emergency braking system with pedestrian recognition.
It appears that Daimler is full throttle with its aim for CO2-neutral goods transport using battery-electric and hydrogen-based fuel-cell technologies
The company says the logistics sector is facing a massive set of challenges, with environmental regulations becoming even more demanding on the one hand, while on the other the massive increase in global freight volume which needs to be transported as sustainably and efficiently as possible.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks says it is working hard to achieve these goals and identifies with the Paris Agreement’s aim of decarbonising the sector and wants to completely switch its European product portfolio to electrically powered trucks by 2039.
While the eActros is the first fully-electric series-production truck from Benz and the company says it marks an important step in the direction of CO2-neutral goods transport.
The company has more in the pipeline particularly for long-distance haulage with the low-floor Mercedes-Benz eEconic truck expected in 2022, the battery-electric eActros LongHaul due to be launched in 2024 and the GenH2 Truck with hydrogen-based fuel cell will come in the second half of this decade.
T&B News understands that the eActros and the other zero emission models are on Daimler Truck Australia’s wish list but at this stage there are no firm dates set down yet.