Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the series version of the first battery-electric long-haul truck with a three-pointed star.
The manufacturer presented the Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 today as a world premiere to an international audience at an event south of Hamburg. With this heavy-duty electric truck, the manufacturer 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. Therefore, the eActros 600 will be able to travel significantly more than 1,000 kilometres per day.
This is made possible by intermediate charging during legally prescribed driver breaks – even without megawatt charging. Around 60 per cent of long-distance journeys of Mercedes-Benz Trucks customers in Europe are shorter than 500 kilometres anyway, which means charging infrastructure at the depot and at 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 400 kW, the eActros 600 will later also enable megawatt charging (MCS). 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 minutes at a suitable charging station with an output of one megawatt.
The vehicle is technically designed for a gross combination weight of up to 44 tonnes. With a standard semi-trailer, 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 fundamentally new, puristic design with clear lines and an aerodynamic shape. When it comes to profitability for fleet operators, the electric truck is intended to set new standards, over the long term replacing the majority of diesel trucks in the important long-haul transport segment. The core of Merceds-Benz Trucks’ concept for battery-electric long-distance transport is to offer customers a holistic solution consisting of vehicle technology, consulting, charging infrastructure and services.
Sales of the electric truck start this year. The start of series production is planned for the end of 2024. In addition to the tractor unit, 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 customers in a next step.
Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks, said: “The eActros 600 stands for the transformation of road freight transport towards CO2-neutrality like no other truck with a three-pointed star. 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.”
Mercedes-Benz Trucks 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 400 kW as well as a peak output of 600 kW and ensure powerful acceleration, high driving comfort and high driving dynamics. The full motor output is available most of the time with 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. Recuperatuion puts less train on the brakes of the eActros 600, which is a positive side effect. Depending on the situation, the driver can choose between five different recuperation levels. One-pedal driving can also be optionally enabled on the touchscreen in the digital cockpit – ie. deceleration by means of recuperation with reduced actuation of the mechanical brake.
The eActros 600 features the tried-and-tested 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. Route information from the navigation system is now included to facilitate better recognition of the situation on the road ahead. This allows the driver to avoid unnecessary braking, accelerating and shifting to exploit the battery energy as efficiently as possible.