eActros 300 travels 3000km from Arctic Circle

In Mercedes-Benz, Actros, News4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 6, 2023

Experts from Mercedes-Benz Trucks covered around 3000km from the Arctic Circle to Stuttgart in March, with a near-series prototype of the eActros 300 as a tractor unit.

The electric truck, which was specially designed for flexible use in heavy-duty distribution haulage, underwent practical tests for six consecutive days. It scored high marks along the way with its powerful acceleration, range-increasing recuperation, and quiet handling.

Start of production is scheduled for later this year.

“In future, customers are not likely to use the Mercedes-Benz eActros 300 as a tractor unit for this kind of a long journey. However, being able to test the vehicle in real operation for several days at a time under the most varied climatic and topographical conditions is the best opportunity for the developers to derive measures for possible optimisation of the functions and systems,” the company said.

Before the 3000km journey, Mercedes-Benz Trucks engineers had already extensively tested the vehicle in winter conditions as part of the tests in Rovaniemi, Finland. At temperatures of down to -25°, in addition to handling on icy and snowy roads, the focus was particularly on the starting properties and protection of the drive components, software and interfaces from low temperatures. On the return journey, the main objective was to take a closer look at the eActros loaded to 25 tons in real traffic.

“The journey from Rovaniemi to Stuttgart showed that the eActros 300 as a tractor unit reliably masters all challenges before its market launch later this year,” said Dr. Christof Weber, head of global testing, Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

“This applies in terms of energy efficiency and charging, as well as driving comfort and safety,” he said

Marc Schniederjan, team leader at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, responsible for the operation of test vehicles and who coordinated and supervised the return journey, said, “In advance, we planned the individual stages precisely and very conservatively with around 150km in order to be able to drive to the planned charging points without any problems, even in traffic jams or stop-and-go traffic.”

On the road on European and main roads, as well as highways with different topography, drivers were impressed by the relaxed driving without noticeable interruptions to gearshifts or traction. The electric motors provide exactly the same high torque throughout the entire rpm range, and the powerful acceleration is noticeable in every traffic situation. The noise level in the cab remained at a comfortable level at all times. Even at icy temperatures, the cab warmed up relatively quickly. The vehicle was pre-conditioned at a charging station in order to avoid using too much battery energy and thus shorten the range.

“With only minimal temperatures below zero, the loss of range was limited even without pre-conditioning,” said Schniederjan.

“When driving at a speed of normally 80km/h, it was also easy to see how the eActros 300 as a tractor unit used its energy by means of recuperation and thus increased the range,” he said.

“On average, the teams took a charging break in the two vehicles three times a day. The charging itself worked without any problems at the available public DC high-power charging stations.

“Without restrictions, the eActros 300 as a tractor unit was also able to cope with a wide variety of weather conditions including snow, cold and storms. The installed driver assistance systems proved their worth, as did the second-generation MirrorCam.”