eActros makes world premiere

In News, Mercedes-Benz, August 2021, New Models4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 9, 2021

The eActros concept vehicle was first displayed at the 2016 IAA Commercia Vehicles show in Hanover. Since 2018, 10 prototypes have been through practical testing in cooperation with customers in Germany and other European countries.

Now, following an international premiere on 30 June, the first series- production, heavy-duty distribution electric model from Mercedes-Benz Trucks has arrived. It will begin to hit the road in the European autumn.

Technology at heart

The eActros drive unit uses a rigid electric axle with two integrated electric motors and a two-speed transmission. Both liquid-cooled motors generate a continuous output of 330kW and a peak output of 400kW, which drive through a two-speed transmission. Depending on the version, the eActros draws its energy from three or four battery packs – each with a capacity of about 105kWh. With a maximum capacity of 420kWh, Mercedes-Benz claims a “realistic” range of up to 400km.

Charging can be done at up to 160kW. When connected to a regular 400A DC charging station, the three battery packs need a little longer than one hour to charge from 20% to 80%

Mercedes-Benz said that in full-load operations, drivers would enjoy a noise reduction of 10dB inside the cab, which roughly corresponds to a halving of noise volume.

Full safety suite

Like its conventional siblings, the eActros includes systems such as MirrorCam, Sideguard Assist S1R and the fifth generation of Active Brake Assist (ABA5) with pedestrian detection. Challenges associated with electric vehicles and their high-voltage systems have also been addressed.

Special crash elements with an aluminium profile protect the batteries in the event of a side-on crash, while sensors integrated into these can detect a crash scenario. In such a case, the HV battery would be automatically isolated from the rest of the vehicle. The driver has the option of actuating the HV shut-off at any time in the cab.

To ensure the vehicle is easier for road users such as pedestrians and cyclists to hear, the eActros uses an external Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS).

Keeping tabs

The standard Multimedia Cockpit Interactive keeps the driver constantly up to date with the charge level of the batteries and the remaining range, as well as current and average energy consumption. Mercedes-Benz’s Fleetboard portal of digital solutions offers fleet managers a range of tools, including an individually developed Charge Management System for creating charging profiles, and a logbook containing detailed information on driving times, downtimes and charging breaks. A mapping tool shows the vehicle’s current location in real-time, its status and the battery charge.

With a high degree of digitisation and connectivity, Mercedes-Benz says it is possible to establish a highly realistic and meaningful usage profile for electric trucks using a customer’s existing route plans.

As part of the Mercedes- Benz Complete service contract, fully automatic telediagnosis monitors the status of several vehicle systems in the truck in real- time.

Step-by-step

To assist haulage companies switch to electromobility, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has incorporated the eActros into a comprehensive system that includes consultant and service products for customers, and in turn, the best possible vehicle utilisation, optimisation of total costs and the setting-up of a charging infrastructure.

The service, called eConsulting, includes everything from the electrification of the depot, to questions concerning planning, applying for and implementing everything to do with the charging infrastructure, and connection to the electricity network.