The Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 electric long-haul truck is formally a reality with the launch of the series version in Hamburg, Germany – with production due to start next year.
The high battery capacity of more than 600 kilowatt hours – hence the model designation 600 – and a new, electric drive axle developed in-house, enable the e-truck to achieve a range of 500 kilometres without intermediate charging.
Thus, 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% 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.
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% in about 30 minutes at a suitable charging station with an output of one megawatt.
The vehicle is 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.
Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks, says: “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.”
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.
The eActros 600 has three battery packs, each with 207 kWh. These offer an installed total capacity of 621 kWh. The batteries are based on lithium iron phosphate cell technology (LFP) and engineers at Mercedes-Benz Trucks designed the eActros 600 to meet the same requirements on the durability of the vehicle and its components as a comparable conventional heavy-duty long-haul Actros – up to 1,2-million kilometres in 10 years of operation.
It has 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 the full motor output is available most of the time with no interruption in torque.
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.
The new design language of the cab sees a completely closed and rounded-off front, an optimised bumper including underbody panelling, an aerodynamically improved driver access and extended end flaps designed like sails.
Air deflectors on the A-pillars, an additional spoiler on the roof and a sealed motor compartment complement the aerodynamic improvements to the cab.
The significantly enlarged camera angle of vision increases the efficiency of the respective safety assistance systems – including Active Brake Assist 6 (ABA6), Frontguard Assist, Active Sideguard Assist 2 (ASGA 2) and Active Drive Assist 3 (ADA 3) – even further.
The sensor fusion and 270-degree view with six sensors means that ABA 6, thanks to improved hazard recognition and multiple lane monitoring, is able to react more quickly in critical situations such as changing lanes or stationary ends of traffic jams in curves typical for highways.
ABA 6 is able to react not only to moving persons and cyclists, whether in the same lane, crossing or oncoming, but also to stationary pedestrians, with automated emergency braking from vehicle speeds of up to 60 km/h. Furthermore, the new Frontguard Assist can warn the driver visually and acoustically of vulnerable road users directly in front of the truck, especially in hectic situations such as when pulling away or at junctions.
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 trucks that will continue to be equipped with diesel engines.