Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off the new eActros LongHaul tractor unit as part of a series of product launches at this year’s IAA Transportation truck exhibition in Hanover and has announced real-world testing of the truck will begin in 2023. Amazon and Rhenus Transport have each signed a letter of intent with the German truck builder confirming they will statr in service trials. The first prototypes of the electric truck are already undergoing intensive testing and the first eActros LongHaul will also be tested on public roads this year. Full series production is planned for 2024. The eActros LongHaul will have a range of around 500km on a single battery charge and is capable of high-performance charging - so-called megawatt charging.
“We will rely on early practical tests with customers for our eActros LongHaul,” says Michael Scheib, Head of Product Management, Mercedes-Benz Trucks. ”By doing so our engineers will be able to incorporate valuable knowledge gained from real-world operations - especially with regard to high-performance charging - directly into the development of the series-production vehicle. We are very pleased with the planned partnerships with Amazon and Rhenus.”
“Due to today’s range constraints of batteries, recharging is a key challenge that we need to tackle,” explains Andreas Marschner, Vice President, Amazon Transportation Services. ”Building high power charging solutions is a promising approach and we are excited to test it with our partners.”
“If we want to use significantly higher numbers of e-trucks nationwide in Germany in the future and, above all, over longer distances, we will have to use every charging alternative,” adds Sascha Hähnke, Managing Director of Rhenus Transport. ”Of course, this includes high-performance charging on the road and, ideally, during the statutory rest periods. This is the only way to achieve optimal truck capacity utilization.”
Amazon and Rhenus are planning to test the eActros LongHaul as part of the test project “High performance charging for long-haul trucking” (HoLa), under the auspices of the VDA - the German automotive trade association. The aim of HoLa is the development, operation and scientific support of a high-performance charging infrastructure for battery-powered long-distance transport. In addition to Daimler Truck, other consortium partners from industry and research are involved in the project. CCS charging stations will initially be installed at several locations along the A2 between Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia. As the project progresses the selected sites are to be equipped with charging stations that enable the megawatt charging system (MCS). Daimler Truck is extensively involved in the development of the new MCS charging standard as an active member of CharIN - the global association for the standardization of charging infrastructure.
The HoLa charging points are to be installed at several locations along the A2. These are located both directly on the motorway and in logistics centers. In this way, the system can be tested under real-world conditions and authentic user experience can be gained. One focus of testing is on the rapid charging of e-trucks: the battery electric vehicles should be able to be charged at high power within the statutory break time of 45 minutes.
The batteries used in the eActros LongHaul employ lithium-iron phosphate cell technology (LFP). These are characterized, above all, by a long service life and more usable energy. The batteries can be charged from 20 to 80 percent in well under 30 minutes at a charging station with an output of about one megawatt. The long range on a single charge in combination with megawatt charging results in overall ranges on a par with conventional trucks and thus enables two-shift operations. The vehicle is also characterized by a particularly well-balanced driveline for a very pleasant driving experience. In addition, the eActros LongHaul features the manufacturer’s numerous safety innovations. The core of the Mercedes-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. The eActros LongHaul should be the right choice for customers in terms of profitability, sustainability and reliability.