Full-electric eActros trials get closer to UK, but don’t cross the North Sea10 August 2020

Following trials in Germany and Switzerland, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has provided eight test units to customers in the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as other customers in Germany.

Logistics firm Simon Loos is using a 25-ton eActros to supply supermarkets in the region of Rotterdam and The Hague.

Andreas von Wallfeld, head of marketing, sales and services for Mercedes-Benz Trucks says: “We started the practical test of our eActros in September 2018 and have already covered hundreds of thousands of kilometers electrically. The findings from the first phase have made a valuable contribution to the planned start of series production next year.”

Simon Loos is using an eActros equipped with a refrigerated box for the Albert Heijn supermarket chain. The daily tour of the eActros starts at Albert Heijn’s regional distribution center in Delfgauw in the province of South Holland. From there, the e-truck supplies supermarket stores in various cities in the region, including Rotterdam, The Hague and Delft, with dry goods and fresh, temperature-controlled food. The eActros will run seven days a week, covering around 200 kilometers every day in locally CO2-neutral operation. The batteries will be charged overnight and in between routes at the distribution center in Delfgauw, where Albert Heijn is currently constructing an innovative area with multiple fast-chargers. In preparation for the test, experts from Mercedes-Benz Trucks gave the Simon Loos drivers special training in the use of high-voltage systems.

One of the many findings gained during the practical tests in the first test phase is that the 200km expected range was proven – regardless of load, route or topography. Nor was the performance of the eActros found to be inferior compared to a conventional diesel in urban traffic or on highways. The cooling system for the cargo and the air-conditioning system – both electrically operated – functioned without any limitations in both extreme heat and winter conditions. Drivers mentioned the truck’s quietness in operation and the pleasant, smooth driving experience. Furthermore, if the truck is driven with foresight, electrical energy can be recovered through motor braking. It is then rarely necessary to use the brake pedal.

The cool swap body of the eActros used by Simon Loos is the W.KO COOL model from Schmitz Cargobull.

The eActros is based on the chassis of the Mercedes-Benz Actros. Two electric motors close to the rear-axle wheel hubs provide drive with an output of 169bhp each and a maximum torque of 485Nm each. This results in 11,000 Nm each after the transmission ratio, providing a performance equivalent to that of a conventional truck. Lithium-ion batteries with 240 kWh supply the energy for the eActros. Depending on the available charging power, the batteries can be fully charged within two hours (at 150 kW).

The development and testing of heavy-duty electric trucks in distribution transport is receiving support from Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, as part of the Concept ELV² project.

William Dalrymple

Related Companies
Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd
Schmitz Cargobull (UK) Ltd

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