Mercedes-Benz Trucks has unveiled the series version of the first battery-electric long haul truck at a world premiere.
The commercial vehicle manufacturer presented the Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 overnight to an international audience at an event south of Hamburg.
With this heavy-duty electric truck, the manufacturer said it plans to define the new standard in road freight transport – in terms of technology, sustainability, design and profitability for e-fleet operators.
The high battery capacity of more than 600 kilowatt hours – hence the model designation 600 – and a new, efficient electric drive axle developed in-house, enable the e-truck to achieve a range of 500 kilometers without intermediate charging.
The vehicle, as a result, should be able to travel more than 1,000 kilometres per day made possible by intermediate charging during the legally prescribed driver breaks.
Around 60 per cent of long-distance journeys of Mercedes-Benz Trucks customers in Europe are shorter than 500 kilometres, which means charging infrastructure at the depot and at the loading and unloading points is sufficient in such cases.
For all other uses, continual expansion of public charging infrastructure is vital in order to make the electric truck viable for long-distance haulage across Europe.
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 per cent in about 30 minutes at a suitable charging station with an output of around one megawatt. The vehicle is technically 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. In some cases, national law may permit a higher payload.
The start of series production is planned for the end of 2024. In addition to the tractor unit, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will also produce rigid variants of the eActros 600 right from market launch, offering customers further possible applications for all-electric transport.
A fleet of around fifty prototype vehicles is currently being built, some of which are also to be put into practical testing with first customers in a next step. “The eActros 600 stands for the transformation of road freight transport towards CO2-neutrality like no other truck with a three-pointed star,” said Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
“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 time period within which fleet operators can achieve cost parity with a comparable diesel truck using the eActros 600 in long-distance haulage will differ from country to country according to Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
It will largely be dependent on the electricity and diesel price and toll system.
In the large transit countries of France and Germany, for example, a low electricity price and the planned CO2-based truck toll, respectively, have a positive effect on the operational costs of battery-electric trucks.
This means that the eActros 600 can be more profitable than a diesel long-haul truck within the average vehicle holding period of around five years or after around 600,000 kilometres – despite a purchase price that is around two to two and a half times higher than the diesel equivalent.
Government subsidisation of e-trucks and charging infrastructure is a key lever providing support in ramping up the market.