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

posted on 11/10/2023
Mercedes-Benz Trucks celebrates world premiere of the battery electric long-haul truck eActros 600

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 kilometres1 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 minutes3 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.”

Electricity price and toll system decisive for profitability compared to diesel trucks 
The time period within which 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 electricity and diesel prices and toll systems. 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 600,000 kilometres – despite a purchase price that is 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. A full suite of finance products is available from Daimler Truck Financial Services UK.

More than 80 per cent CO2 savings possible compared to diesel trucks over the entire life cycle 
The CO24 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 10 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 a higher CO2 footprint ex-works due to its batteries within its first or second year of operation in long-haul transport.

E-mobility in long-distance haulage with various opportunities for fleet operators 
The electrification of long-distance trucking will change the business model of transport companies and create opportunities for competitive advantage on several levels. 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. However, the effects of electrification also go beyond the mere purchase of electric trucks as a replacement for diesels and the build-up of charging infrastructure. Many fleet operators have to calculate very accurately with profit margins in the low single-digit per cent range. If, due to lower electricity prices or toll payments, they are able to earn more money with every kilometre driven on electric power than a diesel truck, it will be worthwhile for them to deploy the eActros 600 for as many orders as possible. This can even be the case if drivers purchase electricity on the road at a higher price than at their own depot, as costs may still be generally significantly lower than for diesel trucks. First, this means that the higher investment in the electric vehicle pays for itself more quickly and, second, they can operate increasingly economically in this way.

Innovative drive technology – Predictive Powertrain Control in the eActros 600
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.

Via the Multimedia Cockpit Interactive 2, installed as standard in the eActros 600, the driver is continuously informed 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, right from the start, 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.

Extending the front by 80 millimetres made it possible to achieve the particularly aerodynamic shape of the new cab. This streamlined shape was developed with a multitude of in-house air-flow simulations as well as wind tunnel and on-road measurements. This enabled the ProCabin’s cW value to be lowered by nine per cent6 in comparison to the Actros cab currently in series production. This aerodynamic improvement reduces the vehicle’s energy sonsumption and makes a decisive contribution to the range of 500 kilometres1 achieved by the eActros 600.

Production aligned to sustainability and flexibility
The eActros 600 will be produced on the existing assembly line at the largest truck assembly plant on Mercedes-Benz Trucks, in Wörth am Rhein – in parallel to and flexibly alongside trucks that will continue to be equipped with diesel engines. In Wörth, it will also be equipped with electric drive components from Mercedes-Benz plants in Mannheim, Gaggenau and Kassel. Like the Wörth site, these three locations are also undergoing a transformation from diesel technology to competence centres for emission-free transport. Installation in Wörth takes place in several production steps, including the installation of the electric axle, the high-voltage batteries and the front box, which is a complex technology module with several control units, high-voltage components and an electric air compressor. Once all high-voltage components have been installed, the entire system goes into operation and the truck is ready to drive.

The world premiere of the eActros 600 took place at the Break Autohof Hamburg Nordheide, directly at the A7 highway in Egestorf.

Comprehensive information for customer on the eActros 600 is available online at https://eactros600.mercedes-benz-trucks.com

1 The range was determined internally under specific test conditions, after preconditioning with a 4x2 tractor unit with 40t total towing weight at 20°C outside temperature in long-haul operation and may deviate from the values determined in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2017/2400.
2 Based on Life Cycle Assessment in accordance with ISO 14040:2006+A1:2020 and ISO 14044:2006+A1:2017 +A2:2020 and critically reviewed by internal experts. The choices made during this LCA development including the functional unit & methodologies specifications have considerable influences on the results. Therefore, the comparison to other truck models or vehicles is neither recommended nor intended.
3 Based on internal simulations since a binding and uniform megawatt charging system (MCS) is currently under development.
4 CO2 is representative for all greenhouse gases produced (CO2 equivalent).
5 Nominal capacity of new battery, based on internally defined boundary conditions, may vary depending on use case and ambient conditions.
6 Based on customers’ real-life operations in long-haul traffic (highway travel, standard semi-trailer, 40t), value established in simulations.

*Article Source https://media.daimlertruck.co.uk/

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