Mercedes-Benz Unveils Market-Ready BEV Heavy Duty Truck

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has unveiled its first market-ready BEV heavy-duty truck for short range deliveries.

The eActros is planned to roll off the production line in Wörth am Rhein in Germany from autumn 2021. It will be equipped with either three or four battery packs, each with an energy capacity of around 105 kWh. The maximum battery capacity of 420 kWh claims a maximum range between charges of 248 miles.

Its drive unit features a rigid electric axle with two integrated electric motors and a two-speed transmission. Both liquid-cooled motors claim a continuous output of 438bhp as well as a top performance of 530bhp.  Naturally, it also employs energy regeneration during braking.

Compared to a diesel truck, in full-load operations, drivers enjoy a noise reduction of 10dB inside the cab, which roughly corresponds to a halving of perceptible noise volume. The lack of noise also permits more use of nighttime deliveries particularly in urban and residential settings. The eActros can be charged with up to 160 kW and when connected to a regular 400A DC charging station, the battery packs needs little more than one hour to charge from 20% to 80%. To charge the eActros, a CCS Combo-2 type connector is required and the charging station must support DC charging.

It is available as a two or three-axle truck with 19 or 27 metric tons permissible gross weight. A display in the standard Multimedia Cockpit Interactive of the eActros to keep the driver up-to-date on the charge level of the batteries and the remaining range, as well as the current and average energy consumption in kWh per 62 miles.

Besides the drivetrain, the batteries also supply the electricity for the entire vehicle. Thus, for example, auxiliary units such as the air compressor for the brakes, the compressor for the cab’s air conditioning and, if fitted, a refrigerated body are also electrically powered. If required, the battery packs can be replaced with ease.

The low-voltage on-board electrical network with two regular 12-volt batteries is charged from the high-voltage batteries using a DC/DC converter. In this way, even if the high-voltage electrical system fails or is switched off, all relevant vehicle functions such as the lights, turn signals, brakes, air suspension and cab functions remain operational.

Numerous high-voltage and low-voltage components of the eActros have been installed within the front box where the combustion engine previously sat. This includes such components as the heat exchanger, water pumps, cab electrical circuits, DC/DC converter, valves and the two low-voltage batteries. In the case of repairs or maintenance, the components in the front box are easily accessible.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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