Ricardo Böhnke drives the first series-production eActros


The pioneer.

Last year, DB SCHENKER took delivery of the first series-production eActros – and driver Ricardo Böhnke only wants to drive electrically now.

First of all: Ricardo Böhnke is also familiar with the problems faced by drivers in distribution haulage. Busy roads, few places to stop and inattentive road users. The level of concentration must always be at the highest. In the evening, Ricardo is exhausted, and often just ends up on the sofa. With the eActros, the job is somehow different though," says the 49-year-old. "Somehow I’m more relaxed."

In the city every day.

Ricardo drives his eActros 300 from the freight village (FV) in northwest Leipzig into the city every day or sometimes into the surrounding area. A lot of starting and stopping, a lot of traffic. What makes working in the eActros different? "There are far fewer interruptions in tractive power when setting off because the truck only has two gears. Power is therefore always available. That makes driving easier," Ricardo replies.

The eActros is still parked in the yard of DB SCHENKER’s branch. It’s quiet in the cab and Ricardo’s gaze moves to the central display in front of him. "I often check whether the truck is turned on at all. You don't hear any engine noise," says Ricardo with a grin. Then he drives off.

"You just stay more relaxed."

– Ricardo Böhnke, driver at DB SCHENKER in Leipzig

All in all, Ricardo has already been behind the wheel of the Mercedes‑Benz Trucks e-trucks for a few years now. "I drove one of the pre-production vehicles" he says. The vehicle has been part of the so-called innovation fleet since 2020.

It did not take long for Ricardo to develop a good feeling for driving the electric truck. "I quickly knew when I could be on the road with how much battery charge," he says, pointing to the battery charge level indicator. "I only connect the eActros to the charging station every other night. Actually, it only needs to be charged after every third working day for our usage, but that way I still have a good reserve if I have to make a another trip spontaneously." The batteries of the DB SCHENKER truck are then only charged up to 85 percent of their capacity. There are two reasons for this: "Because I can still recover energy when braking and because I don't always want to fully charge the batteries. This extends the service life," says Ricardo, who is now driving the truck along the main road towards the city centre.

Changing city.

Leipzig has been growing since 1999 and is attracting more and more people. In 2022, the Saxon city had a population of almost 625,000. "The volume of traffic is likewise correspondingly substantial," says Ricardo. "I also deal with many construction sites. The city is constantly changing, so I have to adapt and I manage that very well with the vehicle."

With proven assistance systems as standard.

Ricardo drives to around 20 unloading points every day throughout the Leipzig region. He transports everything that fits on pallets. The SPIER body of the eActros offers 18 spaces. Ricardo: "The size of the body is perfect for my journeys. Just like the whole truck. Things can get tight in the city sometimes. With the eActros, it is much more pleasant in many areas. You just stay more relaxed," says Ricardo. The proven assistance systems from Mercedes‑Benz Trucks, which are installed as standard in the truck, also contribute to this. "The Sideguard Assist has already warned me a few times in unclear situations. Cyclists sometimes appear out of nowhere."

Photos & video: Matthias Aletsee