Mercedes Benz lays bare electric truck outlook


Event sees production year for the eActros LongHaul plus diesel Actros F and Actros L upgrades

Mercedes Benz lays bare electric truck outlook
Andreas von Wallfeld and Karin Rådström

 

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has presented its innovations for the energy transition in road freight transport with fully electric vehicles.

At a company event in Germany, the manufacturer also revealed updates to the diesel versions of the Actros F and the Actros L.

The company identifies with the Paris Climate Agreement and its aim of decarbonising the sector, with CO2-neutral transport on the roads by 2050 as the ultimate goal.

But it continues to call for greater input from governments to aid the process.

"At Mercedes-Benz Trucks we are fully committed to locally CO2-neutral transport. In 2030, we want more than half of our new vehicles sold in Europe to be locally emission-free," Daimler Truck board member for Benz Karin Rådström said at a company strategy event dubbed Shaping the Now & Next 2021.

"To make that happen, there is no one-size-fits-all, no silver bullet. In line with the different use cases of our customers, we follow a dual electrification strategy based on battery- and fuel cell-electric trucks.

"But there is more action needed – in terms of infrastructure as well as a reliable regulatory framework."

Electric plans

In the electric frame were details of the eActros for heavy distribution haulage, which was presented in June and scheduled to go into full-scale production in Wörth from next month, as well as the eEconic for municipal use to follow in the second half of 2022 are already fully electrified and locally CO2-neutral.

Benz noted that testing was still underway, after which the eEconic will move on to practical trials with customers.

The key technical specifications mirror those of the eActros.

"The eEconic waste collection vehicle is designed to cover the vast majority of the typical collection routes run by an Econic with no need for interim charging," Benz said.

"Even before full-scale production has started a waste disposal company in Denmark has already placed an order for 11 eEconic vehicles."


Read how Benz launched its battery-electric eActros, here


From 2024, the eActros LongHaul which is also battery-electric is planned to be ready for series production and 2027 will see the first series-production GenH2 Trucks with hydrogen-based fuel cell drive roll off the production line on their way to customers.

Both vehicles will enable locally CO2-neutral road freight haulage on long-distance routes.

"Working with and for our customers to find the perfect solution has always been something special to me – because every customer has their own individual requirements and challenges that need to be met," head of marketing, sales and services Andreas von Wallfeld pointed out.

"To be real partners, we do two main things: first, we listen really carefully to what our customers are saying.

"Secondly we develop our trucks – no matter whether they have classic diesel engines or are electrified – and services to serve a particular purpose: to contribute to the success of our customers."

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Mercedes-Benz Trucks also presented consulting services such as eConsulting and strategic partnerships in the areas of fleet integration, charging infrastructure and grid connection.

eConsulting

Likely a while away from Australian release, Benz aims to embed the e-trucks "in an eco-system which also provides advice and services, as well as a range of digital solutions to increase capacity utilisation of the vehicle and to optimise the total cost of ownership.

"For example, using a customer's existing route plans, it should be possible to establish a highly realistic and meaningful usage profile for electric trucks.

"This e-consulting service doesn't just include electrification of the depot, but – if the customer desires – also covers questions concerning planning, applying for and implementing everything to do with the charging infrastructure, and connection to the electricity network."

For this, in Europe, Benz has a strategic partnership with Siemens Smart Infrastructure, ENGIE and EVBox Group and says it can also provide help with identifying any available public grants for infrastructure and vehicles.

Diesel updates

Mercedes-Benz Trucks also presented its latest models from the classic diesel segment such as the Actros F, Actros L and Edition 2.

The flagship Actros L is due to go into full production in November, with the make hailing its three cab versions – StreamSpace, BigSpace and GigaSpace – each 2.5m across with a flat floor and improved sound insulation.

Also hailed were the fifth-generation Active Brake Assist (ABA 5) with pedestrian detection, as well as by Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and MirrorCam.

Options include LED headlights and Sideguard Assist with active braking (Active Sideguard Assist) or the second-generation Active Drive Assist (ADA 2) system, which enables level 2 partially automated driving.

The more workmanlike Actros F offers the same cab width in StreamSpace and BigSpace.

Options for it include the multimedia cockpit and the intelligent cruise control and transmission control system Predictive Powertrain Control.

For safety, the Actros F is equipped as standard with ABA 5 and LKA with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

 

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