Mercedes-Benz eActros Heavy-Duty Electric Truck on Trials
Aimed at series production of heavy-duty electric trucks by 2021.
Daimler Trucks is pressing its newly-developed Mercedes-Benz eActros heavy-duty electric distribution truck for select customer trials. Built on the technological expertise of the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck prototype launched in 2016, the e-trucks will undergo feasibility and economic efficiency tests in real-life conditions. The company believes that market maturity for the electric haulage trucks will show up in a couple of years from now, right when the manufacturer is planning to commence their series production in masses.
The Mercedes eActros features the frame and cab of the Actros range, but the vehicle architecture is tweaked for electric drive system, including the ZF AVE 130 drive axle. Two units of 3-phase asynchronous, liquid-cooled electric motors are placed close to rear-axle wheel hubs. They operate with a voltage of 400 volts, generating an output of 125 kW max power and 485 Nm peak torque each. With optimum gearing ratios, this output is converted into 11,000 Nm each to match the performance of the diesel trucks.
Akin to the Urban eTruck prototype, the batteries consisting of eleven packs are housed in the frame area and underneath with steel protections. The pack delivers an output of 240 kWh, driving both the electric powertrain and the other ancillary components including air compressor for braking, power steering, air-conditioning, etc. The battery pack can sustain the truck’s energy needs for up to 200 kms on full charge.
A mobile CCS Combo chargers (at depots) can replenish the batteries in 3-11 hours, depending on the charging capacity of 20 to 80 kW. Two variants are part of the eActros range, with gross vehicle weight rating of 18 and 25 tonnes respectively. The test fleet will be on road until at least mid 2020, so as to compare them with the diesel trucks in a full Life Cycle Assessment, says Daimler Trucks.
The company is running multiple electric truck programmes, including the FUSO eCanter light truck and E-FUSO Vision One concept. It is planning to commence mass production of battery-electric trucks by the beginning of the next decade. But, can the company leverage its “technology pioneer” status to enjoy first-mover advantage in the market? It actually depends on how early Tesla Semi e-truck can hit roads with all its claimed promises!
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Photos Credit: Daimler Trucks