First electric Mercedes-Benz trucks for A/NZ roll off the line

In Mercedes-Benz, News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 25, 2023

The first all-electric Mercedes-Benz trucks bound for Australia and New Zealand have rolled off the production line.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks will begin a local validation programme for the zero emission eActros in Australia and New Zealand this year. An all-electric eEconic will also be subject to a validation programme in Australia.

One eActros will operate in New Zealand, while four eActros and one eEconic electric trucks will operate with a wide range of fleets in Australia.

Both the Mercedes-Benz electric trucks have received full approval to operate on Australian roads, as both have been designed to fit within the country’s width restrictions. As a result, there are no operation restrictions and customers do not require any specific permits regarding Australian Design Rule exemptions for the Mercedes-Benz trucks.

The focus of the eActros is for heavy-duty short radius distribution and development trucks have been working away near-silently in select fleets in Europe since 2018.

The eEconic has been in operation in Europe since last May and the Australia and New Zealand models will be used for waste collection in urban areas.

The eActros and eEconic are largely built on the same lines as diesel-powered trucks at the Mercedes-Benz Trucks factory in Worth, with this flexibility ensuring efficient production.

The trucks are then transferred to the Future Truck Centre area, where they are equipped with electric drive components.

Globally, Daimler Truck is committed to advancing battery electric technology for trucks and buses, but is also working on hydrogen fuel cell technology that is well suited to Australian requirements of longer distances at higher weights.

While hydrogen fuel cell trucks are currently being tested and developed, they are still some years away from being showrooms.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks says it is keen to move forward with battery electric technology, but it is also continuing to help traditional internal combustion engine customers drive down their emissions.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks introduced Australia’s first full range of Euro 6 heavy trucks with the new Actros in 2016. Further improvements of the Mercedes-Benz diesel Actros engines are also on the way soon.