Mercedes-Benz Trucks will put its eActros into everyday trials with operators within the next few weeks, the manufacturer has said.
Ten vehicles in two variants (two and three axle), with gross weights of 18 or 25 tonnes, will have their everyday feasibility and economic efficiency tested under real-life conditions.
The range of the eActros is stated at up to 200km.
“This is particularly true when it comes to electric mobility. We now want to work together with our customers to move swiftly forward with the development of our Mercedes-Benz eActros to the point where it becomes a viable proposition in tough everyday operations – both technically and commercially.
“We are beginning this process by creating an innovation fleet and will be supporting its testing in the day-to day logistics environment of our customers. This will enable us to establish just what remains to be done, in terms of technical matters, infrastructure and service, to make our Mercedes-Benz eActros competitive,” said Martin Daum, the Daimler AG Board Member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses.
According to the manufacturer the eActros is based on the frame of the conventional Actros. However, the vehicle architecture has been configured specifically for the electric drive system, with a high proportion of what it describes as relevant components.
The drive axle is based on the ZF AVE 130 that has already proved its worth as a low-floor portal axle in hybrid and fuel-cell buses from Mercedes-Benz.
The axle housing has been completely redesigned and is mounted in a significantly higher position, thereby increasing the ground clearance to more than 200mm. The drive system comprises two electric motors located close to the rear-axle wheel hubs. These three-phase asynchronous motors are liquid-cooled and operate with a nominal voltage of 400 volts. They generate an output of 125 kW each, with maximum torque of 485 Nm each. The gearing ratios convert this into 11 000Nm each, resulting in a driving performance claimed to be on a par with that of a diesel truck.
The maximum permissible axle load stands at the usual 11.5 tonnes, according to Mercedes. The energy for a range of up to 200km is provided by two lithium-ion batteries with an output of 240kWh. These have already proved their worth in service with EvoBus. “Synergies within the Group like these allow us to pool our experiences, shorten development times and, of course, also save costs,” said Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
The batteries are accommodated in eleven packs: three are located in the frame area, the other eight underneath. For safety reasons, the battery packs are protected by steel housings. In the event of a collision, the mountings give way and deform, so diverting the energy past the batteries without damaging them. The high-voltage batteries do not just supply energy to the drive system, but to the vehicle as a whole.
Ancillary components such as the air compressor for the braking system, the power steering pump, the compressor for the cab air-conditioning system and, where relevant, the refrigerated body, are also all electrically powered. Discharged batteries can be fully recharged within three to eleven hours, assuming a realistic charging capacity of 20 to 80 kW from a mobile charging device at a fleet depot.
The charging standard used is the Combined Charging System, CCS. The LV on-board network made up of two conventional 12-volt batteries is charged from the high-voltage batteries via a DC-DC converter. This ensures that all relevant vehicle functions such as lights, indicators, brakes, air suspension systems and cab systems remain operational in the event of the high-voltage network failing or being switched off. The high-voltage network can only be activated if both LV (low-voltage) batteries are charged.
Mercedes-Benz trucks said it would be looking to achieve series-production and market maturity for “a range of economically competitive electric trucks for use in heavy-duty transport operations” with effect from 2021.
Participating in the fleet test are customers from a variety of sectors in Germany and Switzerland.
They are: Dachser; Edeka; Hermes, Kraftverkehr Nagel; Ludwig Meyer; Pfenning logistics; TBS Rhein-Neckar and Rigterink from Germany; and Camion Transport and Migros from Switzerland.
Commercial Motor magazine will have more on the eActros and several other Mercedes-Benz models in our 1 March editon. Why not subscribe and get it deliveried to your door?