Our passenger vehicles are just a small part of the transportation industry.
In all the excitement over electric cars, we sometimes forget they're just a small part of the overall transportation industry. We've heard that Tesla has an electric semi truck on the way, though we'll believe it when we see it hauling on the highway, and Volvo is working on one too. But this week Mercedes-Benz Trucks introduced its over-the-road hauler called the eActros, and it looks…pretty standard.
"We have to acknowledge that transport is a part of the problem when it comes to climate change. At the same time, we can and we will be part of the solution. We start with our eActros that has covered more than half a million kilometers on public roads," said Karin Radstrom, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler Truck AG and responsible for Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
The truck was first presented in 2016 at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show. In 2018 it unloaded ten prototypes on the road in Germany and other European countries.
"Development of the eActros focused on the partnership with our customers. Everything that we learned from the Innovation Fleet is now being incorporated in series production. Compared with the prototypes, several features such as range, drive power and safety have been considerably improved in the series-production model," explains Andreas von Wallfeld, head of marketing, sales and services at Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
The eActros uses two electric motors along with a two-speed transmission. Depending on the version, the eActros either comes with three or four battery packs - each with a capacity of around 105 kWh. Maximum capacity (420 kWh) would give the truck a range of a claimed 400 km or 248 miles. A giant truck just can't equal the range of something like the Mercedes-Benz EQS. But it can charge at up to 160 kW, which means at a regular 400A DC charging station, the three battery packs need a little longer than 1 hour to charge from 20 to 80 percent.
Mercedes notes that because of its quiet nature and emissions-free operation, it can drive into city centers at any time of the day or night, without the charges normally associated with gas and diesels. It also said that depending on customers, the eActros could come with a consultant and service products to get the most out of the truck, including setting up a charging infrastructure.
The eActros comes with a selection of safety systems from the company like MirrorCam, Sideguard Assist and active brake assist with pedestrian detection. The trucks will first roll out in Europe in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. More will follow, though there was no mention of the US.