Mercedes-Benz reveals production eActros tractor

By Categories: NewsPublished On: Friday 27 October 2023

Details of the production ver­sion of Mercedes’s 44-tonne long-haul eActros 600 have been revealed.

It has a claimed range of 500 km before recharging, en­abling it to cover around 1,000 km a day if the charge can be topped-up during the driv­er’s statutory breaks. Payload with a standard semi-trailer is said to be in the region of 20 tonnes, and the price is around 2.5 times that of an equivalent diesel tractor unit.

Over its entire life, and in­cluding extraction and man­ufacturing, its savings in CO2-equivalent emissions are claimed to be 80 per cent com­pared to a diesel, with parity achieved during its first or sec­ond year of operation.

The eActros features a new 800-volt electric axle with twin motors giving an output of 400 kw (constant) and 600 kW (max). It incorporates a four-speed transmission.

There are two power take-offs: an electric PTO for equip­ment such as fridges which is available in various AC/DC for­mats, and an electro-mechan­ical unit for tipping-gear and similar pumps.

Power is provided by three LFP batteries, giving a total installed capacity of 621 kWh. After 10 years and 1.2 million km of travel, Mercedes claims 80 per cent of battery capacity will be retained. Driveline dura­bility is said to be comparable with that of current Mercedes diesel trucks.

Although based on the die­sel Actros’ cab, the eActros features aerodynamic en­hancements including a solid rounded nose extended by 80 mm, an optimised bumper with undercab spoiler which extends to create a sealed motor compartment, a new roof spoiler and extended end flaps. Mercedes claims these changes have made a substan­tial improvement to the truck’s range.

Driver aids help maximise the output of the regenerative braking system, and the driv­er can choose between five different levels of retardation, including ‘one-pedal driving’ where regen braking is initiat­ed as soon as the accelerator pedal is released.

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.

Mercedes’ Multimedia Cock­pit Interactive 2 is standard in the eActros 600. This continu­ously informs the driver about the charge levels of the batter­ies, the remaining range and the current and average energy consumption.

Fleet managers can use digital solutions for efficient management of their fleets via the Fleetboard Portal. These will include an individually de­veloped charge management system, such as smart control of all processes between the eActros 600 and the charging infrastructure, as well as a log­book with detailed information on driving, standing and charg­ing times as well as consump­tion data.

There will also be a mapping tool that shows in real time where a vehicle is currently lo­cated, whether it is driving, sta­tionary or charging, and how high the battery charge level is.

Around 60 per cent of long-dis­tance journeys of Mercedes- Benz Trucks customers in Europe are shorter than 500 kilometres, which means charging infrastructure at the depot and at loading and un­loading points will be sufficient. 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.

Mercedes will extend its MSC fuel card service to in­clude an eCharge card for use at external charging stations.

With its ‘eConsulting’ range of consulting services, which constitutes part of the com­prehensive ecosystem for improving total costs relating to e-trucks, Mercedes-Benz Trucks already provides sup­port for customers with electri­fication of their fleets and de­pots. The focus is on choosing the right electric truck but in­cludes planning, construction and configuration of the depot charging infrastructure and connection to the grid.

In addition, the consultants from Mercedes-Benz Trucks can assist with identifying po­tential public subsidies for in­frastructure and vehicles. For depot design, Mercedes-Benz Trucks teams up with selected partners.

From mid-2024 on, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will sell chargers at its dealerships and offer a professional service to ensure a seamless charging process and vehicle uptime. The objective is to offer cus­tomers a cost-efficient overall package, from energy genera­tion through to suitable charg­ing infrastructure, to enable their entry into e-mobility.

Mercedes will offer integrat­ed financing and insurance solutions for the eActros 600 and the charging infrastruc­ture. Financing offers cover all products ranging from mere use with integrated services through to ownership.

In addition, Daimler Truck Financial Services co-operates with Marsh, one of the world’s leading insurance brokers, negotiating effective and af­fordable insurance products and offering services tailored to customers’ business needs.

The time within which fleet op­erators can achieve cost par­ity with a comparable diesel truck using the eActros 600 in long-distance haulage will differ from country to country, says Mercedes, depending on electricity and diesel prices and toll systems.

In France and Germany, 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 600,000 kilo­metres – despite a purchase price that is two to two-and-a-half times higher than the diesel equivalent. Government subsidy of e-trucks and charg­ing infrastructure is a key lever providing support in ramping up the market.

The electrification of long-distance trucking will change the business model of transport companies and create opportunities for com­petitive advantage on several levels, the company adds.

For example, more and more customers of transport compa­nies are attaching importance to CO2-neutral transportation of their goods – providers who cannot meet this requirement will miss out.

Mercedes will open UK order­books for the eActros 600 this year, and UK customer trials with prototype trucks will com­mence in the first quarter of 2024.

Series production is slated to start at the end of 2024, and production vehicles will appear on UK roads after that.