Truck Product News

Electric Actros unveiled in Germany

Mercedes-Benz launches the world premiere of the battery electric long-haul truck eActros 600

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Mercedes-Benz Trucks has unveiled the series version of the first battery-electric long-haul truck with the three-pointed star. The manufacturer presented the Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 on October 10 as a world premiere to an international audience at an event south of Hamburg.

With this heavy-duty electric truck, the manufacturer says it plans to define the new standard in road freight transport – in terms of technology, sustainability, design and profitability for e-fleet operators.

The high battery capacity of more than 600 kilowatt hours – hence the model designation 600 – and a new, particularly efficient electric drive axle developed in-house, enable the e-truck to achieve a range of 500 kilometres without intermediate charging.

However, the eActros 600 will be able to travel significantly more than 1,000 kilometres per day due to intermediate charging during the legally prescribed driver breaks – even without megawatt-charging.

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Around 60 per cent of long-distance journeys of Mercedes-Benz Trucks customers in Europe are shorter than 500km, which means charging infrastructure at the depot and at the loading and unloading points is sufficient in such cases. For all other uses, continual expansion of public charging infrastructure is vital in order to make the electric truck viable for long-distance haulage across Europe.

In addition to CCS charging with up to 400kW, the eActros 600 will later also enable megawatt charging (MCS), Mercedes-Benz says. From the start of sales, customers can order a pre-installation for this. As soon as MCS technology becomes available and is standardised across manufacturers, it is planned to be retrofittable for these models of the eActros 600. The batteries can be charged from 20 to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes3 at a suitable charging station with an output of around one megawatt.

The vehicle is technically designed for a gross combination weight of up to 44 tonnes. With a standard semitrailer, the eActros 600 has a payload of around 22 tonnes in the EU. In some cases, national law may permit a higher payload.

Visually, the e-truck is characterised by a new design with clear lines and an aerodynamic shape.

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Sales of the electric truck start this year. The start of series production is planned for the end of 2024. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will also produce rigid variants of the eActros 600 right from market launch, offering customers further possible applications for all-electric transport. A fleet of around 50 prototype vehicles is currently being built, some of which are also to be put into practical testing with first customers in a next step.

“The eActros 600 stands for the transformation of road freight transport towards CO2-neutrality like no other truck with a three-pointed star,” says Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “It is characterised by highly innovative drive technology that can offer our customers particularly high energy efficiency and thus profitability. This makes entry into e-mobility even more attractive for fleet operators.”

The time where fleet operators can achieve cost parity with a comparable diesel truck using the eActros 600 in long-distance haulage differs from country to country, in particular depending on the electricity and diesel price and toll system.

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In the large transit countries of France and Germany, for example, a low electricity price and the planned CO2-based truck toll, respectively, have a positive effect on the operational costs of battery-electric trucks. This means that the eActros 600 can be more profitable than a diesel long-haul truck within the average vehicle holding period of around five years or after around 600,000km – despite a purchase price that is around two to two and a half times higher than the diesel equivalent.

Government subsidisation of e-trucks and charging infrastructure is a key lever providing support in ramping up the market.

The CO2 footprint of the eActros 600 depends heavily on the electricity mix used for driving operation. With the current European energy mix, the eActros 600 achieves CO2 savings of around 40 per cent compared to a comparable diesel Actros and, with fully renewable energies, of more than 80 per cent over the entire product life cycle of ten years from raw material extraction. This corresponds to savings of around 370 or 775 tonnes of CO2. As a result, the eActros 600 can compensate for the higher CO2 footprint ex works due to its batteries within its second or first year of operation in long-haul transport.

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The eActros 600 has three battery packs, each with 207kWh. These offer an installed total capacity of 621kWh. The batteries are based on lithium iron phosphate cell technology (LFP) and are characterised by a long service life. The development engineers at Mercedes-Benz Trucks have designed the eActros 600 to meet the same requirements on the durability of the vehicle and components as a comparable conventional heavy-duty long-haul Actros. That means up to 1.2 million kilometres in 10 years of operation. After this period of use, Mercedes-Benz says the battery state of health should still be over 80 per cent.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks reports that it has developed a new 800-volt electric axle with two electric motors and a four- speed transmission specifically for use in heavy-duty long-haul transport. The electric motors generate a continuous output of 400kW as well as a peak output of 600kW and ensure powerful acceleration, high driving comfort and high driving dynamics. The full motor output is available most of the time with almost no interruption in torque.

In addition, with an anticipatory driving style, electrical energy can be recovered through recuperation, which is fed back into the batteries of the eActros 600 and is then available again for the drive system. Recuperation is said to put less strain on the brakes of the eActros 600.

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The eActros 600 features Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) cruise and transmission control, which is specially tuned to the electric drive system. The anticipatory drivetrain control automatically takes into account the topography, course of the road and traffic signs for the most efficient style of driving.

With the Multimedia Cockpit Interactive 2 installed as standard in the eActros 600, the driver is continuously informed about the charge level of the batteries, the remaining range as well as the current and average energy consumption.

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