06 March 2018 18:47
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After launching their first concept for an electric truck that is capable of everyday distribution operation in 2016, Mercedes-Benz are now placing ten eActros vehicles in the hands of real operators for testing.
With gross weights of 18 or 25 tonnes, the vehicles will be passed over to customers in the next few weeks to test their everyday feasibility and economic efficiency under real-life conditions. This process is part of Mercedes-Benz’s long-term aim to create series-production trucks that are locally emission-free and provide quiet driving in urban environments.
Trialling the truck.
All customers participating in the fleet test distribute different goods in a variety of sectors in Germany and Switzerland. Test operators include, Dachser, Edeka, Hermes, Kraftverkehr Nagel, Ludwig Meyer, pfenning logistics, TBS Rhein-Neckar and Rigterink from Germany, and Camion Transport and Migros from Switzerland.
The eActros will not just be required to deliver everything from building supplies, to groceries to raw materials, but to complete all of the tasks performed by conventional diesel vehicles for twelve months. Some of the vehicles have been fitted with refrigerated boxes, tank or curtainside bodies to meet operator requirements, and drivers are being trained specially to work with the eActros.
“This will enable us to satisfy the many requests we have had from customers and to gain even more insight,” said Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “Our aim is to achieve series-production and market maturity for a range of economically competitive electric trucks for use in heavy-duty transport operations with effect from 2021.”
Research and Development.
The customer innovation fleet will be on the road until at least mid-2020. This will help researchers to establish the energy requirements for a series of specific application scenarios as well as the economic efficiency of the electric trucks. The tests will also help researchers to compare the environmental performance of the electric trucks with that of diesel trucks in a full Life Cycle Assessment.
These findings will be used to further optimise the trucks as well as being published to give other companies the opportunity to optimise their route planning and develop new business models for their logistics processes.
This research is part of project ‘Concept ELV²’, which is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment and Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.
A cleaner future.
The eActros will join Daimler’s other electric commercial vehicle concepts, including the light-duty truck eCanter from the company’s Asian brand FUSO, the eVito, which was made available to customers at the end of last year, and the all-electric Citaro city bus and eSprinter.
Martin Daum, the Daimler AG Board Member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses, said that the company’s leading innovation, combined with commercial know-how, was what sets them apart from other manufacturers in this sector.
He said, “We now want to work together with our customers to move swiftly forward with the development of our Mercedes-Benz eActros to the point where it becomes a viable proposition in tough everyday operations – both technically and commercially.
“We are beginning this process by creating an innovation fleet and will be supporting its testing in the day-to-day logistics environment of our customers. This will enable us to establish just what remains to be done, in terms of technical matters, infrastructure and service, to make our Mercedes-Benz eActros competitive.”