German supermarket chain tests eActros

Daily route of 150-300km in store for one of 20 testing companies

German supermarket chain tests eActros
The eActros test vehicle


Leading German supermarket operator EDEKA is testing a Mercedes-Benz fully electric eActros around Berlin for a year as the vehicle’s testing regime continues to gather pace.

The vehicle tested is a 25-tonne rigid, with a Schmitz Cargobull refrigerated body and a range of about 200km on a single charge.

It will call at EDEKA supermarket branches in the city centre and surrounding areas on daily routes of 150-300km, transporting up to up to 10 tonnes of fresh and temperature-sensitive goods.

During loading and unloading, the vehicle is to be plugged in to ensure its range is "optimally utilised".

Read how Mercedes-Benz Trucks got testing underway, here

Benz states that EDEKA is one of a group of 20 customers from various industries integrating the electric truck into their fleets.

"Each of these selected customers will put a near-series version of either the 18 or 25-tonne variant through its paces in real operations and will test the respective vehicle for its suitability for their daily field of work," it says.

"The aim of Mercedes-Benz Trucks is to make emission-free and quiet driving a reality in cities from the year 2021, also with series heavy-duty trucks – and all of this as economically viable as with a diesel truck.

"The test series consists of two phases, each with 10 customers and spanning a total of around two years."

The project has received state sponsorship.

"Thanks to their practical deployment of the eActros, EDEKA is making a valuable contribution to the truck's further development ahead of its market launch," Mercedes-Benz Trucks head of marketing, sales and services Andreas von Wallfeld says.

"It goes without saying that we are very thankful to the retail association for their active support.

"Our previous results from numerous tests have been nothing less than very positive. The 200km range, for example, is totally realistic, and the cooling and air-conditioning systems have performed well, even during this year's record-hot summer.

"We would also like to thank the German Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for their support in developing and testing our eActros fleet as part of the funding project."

For EDEKA’s part, alternative propulsion and low emissions of both noise and gas were attractions.

"We are already committed to reducing emissions in many areas – particularly when it comes to logistics," head of corporate communications Rolf Lange says.

"This is where electric mobility comes in as it presents many opportunities but also poses several challenges. We look forward to gaining valuable experience with this on-road test in Berlin."

According to Schmitz Cargobull, it has insights to gain from the effort for its technology.

"Electric mobility for commercial vehicles is a highly significant topic that opens up new opportunities," its board member for sales, Boris Billich, says.

"We will utilise them with our refrigerated unit. We can gain valuable experience on the critical factor of shared energy management between the truck and cooling unit through joint testing with Mercedes-Benz Trucks."

As the name suggests, the eActros is based on the frame of the Mercedes-Benz Actros.

However, its electric drive involves a large proportion of specific parts.

"For example, the drive axle is based on the ZF AVE 130, which has proved its worth in hybrid and fuel cell buses from Mercedes-Benz and has now undergone a major modification for the eActros," Benz says.

"The drive comes from two electric motors near the wheel hubs on the rear axle. Their output is 126 kW each, and the maximum torque is 485 Nm each. Downstream of the transmission, that is 11,000Nm each."

Energy is stored in lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 240kWh


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