The battery-powered Mercedes-Benz eActros is starting another customer trial: with Netto Marken-Discount in the greater Hamburg area. The food discounter is testing the heavy-duty electric truck to supply its Hamburg supermarkets with, for example, fruit, vegetables, dairy products and dry goods.
The eActros does three to four tours every day, often covering distances of more than 100 kilometers. Between tours, the vehicle is recharged at the Netto depot in Henstedt-Ulzburg just outside Hamburg. The experts at Mercedes-Benz Trucks have also approved the vehicle for use with Netto with the “additional ton” allowed by the EU directive on alternative drive systems. The eActros in use with Netto can therefore now have a gross vehicle weight of 26 tons instead of the previous 25 tons, which means it can carry an extra ton of cargo.
Patrick Gentner, Key Account Manager at Mercedes-Benz Trucks: “More than two years ago, we started testing the battery-powered eActros with the so-called innovation fleet. Already in the first test phase, the eActros was in use for the transport of temperature-controlled products in various cities. We are very pleased that Netto Marken-Discount, our long-standing and valued partner, is now also participating in the intensive customer testing of the Mercedes-Benz eActros for heavy-duty distribution transport. The urban transport of refrigerated foods in particular is an important application for the battery-electric eActros, which is now making great strides towards series production in the coming year.”
Christina Stylianou, Head of Corporate Communications at Netto Marken-Discount: “Netto has been committed to continuously reducing energy consumption and making the supply chain more sustainable for a long time. This also includes the continuous optimization of our logistics processes. With the Mercedes-Benz electric truck, we want to test a new way of further reducing CO2 emissions on the roads.”
Refrigerated swap body with electric cooling unit from Schmitz Cargobull
The refrigerated swap body of the eActros used by Netto is the W.KO COOL model from Schmitz Cargobull. It has optimized insulation for the energy-efficient transport of goods that require refrigeration. Its robust construction is ideal for intensive daily use. The purely electrically powered cooling unit operates completely emission-free and is specially designed for use in distribution transport. The vehicle bodies are largely provided by Schmitz Cargobull also in the second test phase of the eActros.
Boris Billich, Sales Director at Schmitz Cargobull: “As a reliable and innovative partner to the transport and logistics sector, Schmitz Cargobull continues to push forward with environmentally friendly transport concepts for electrically powered delivery vehicles. With the electrically operated refrigerated swap body that Netto is using with the eActros, we offer a future-proof ecological local supply concept for inner cities. And through our cooperation with Mercedes-Benz, we are gaining valuable experience for joint energy management.”
Numerous findings gained from the first phase
The eActros has been in the second phase of its practical testing as part of the so-called innovation fleet since 2020. One of the many findings gained during the practical tests is that the eActros’s range of about 200 kilometers has proven to be absolutely realistic – regardless of payload, route or topography. The eActros is in no way inferior to a conventional diesel truck in terms of availability and performance in urban traffic, on highways or overland routes. The cooling system for the cargo, but also the air conditioning – both of which are electrically operated – have been operating without any restrictions in both extreme heat and winter conditions. Drivers are very pleased with the continuous availability of torque across the entire speed range. They also report in particular on the quiet driving style and a pleasant, smooth driving experience. In addition, when driving with foresight, electrical energy can be recovered through recuperation.
The eActros: locally CO2-neutral alternative for urban distribution transport
The eActros is based on the chassis of the Mercedes-Benz Actros. In addition, however, the vehicle’s architecture is completely geared to electric drive and has a high proportion of specific parts. Drive is provided by two electric motors close to the rear-axle wheel hubs with an output of 126 kW each and a maximum torque of 485 Nm each. This results in 11,000 Nm each after the transmission ratio, which is 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 the heavy-duty electric trucks in distribution transport is being funded in partially by the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and partially by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) as part of the Concept ELV² project.
The eActros in series production: outstanding performance
The series-production eActros will be significantly superior to the prototype in a number of respects, such as range, power and safety. The eActros will be launched as a two- and three-axle vehicle. Series production is scheduled to start in 2021 at the Wörth plant on the Rhine. In addition, Daimler Trucks will embed the vehicle in a holistic ecosystem that also includes consulting services relating to e-mobility. They include route analyses, checking for possible subsidies, support for operational fleet integration, and the development of suitable charging-infrastructure solutions.