eActros returns a positive test

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Friday 7 August 2020

No, it hasn’t caught Covid-19, but Benz’s electric Actros is furthering its real world testing with a new phase of on-the-job trials in Europe.

Benz says after a year of ‘practical use’ by ten customers in Germany and Switzerland, eight of the purely battery-powered trucks will now be used by new customers in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Mercedes-Benz says it started field testing the eActros in September 2018 and the fleet has now covered hundreds of thousands of kilometres. It says the findings from the first phase of testing ‘have made a valuable contribution to the planned start of series production next year’.

One customer is using an eActros equipped with a refrigerated cargo box for a supermarket chain. So this particular eActros covers 200km daily in what Benz calls ‘locally CO2-neutral operation’. The batteries are charged overnight and in between routes at the distribution center.

The truck maker says its real world testing has proved the eActros’ range of ‘approximately 200 kilometers’ to be ‘absolutely realistic – regardless of load, route or topography’. The firm also claims the eActros ‘is in no way inferior to a conventional diesel truck in terms of availability and performance in urban traffic, on highways or on overland routes’. Benz also states that drivers like ‘the continuous availability of torque across the entire speed range’ and its quiet and smooth operation.

The eActros is based on the chassis of the Mercedes-Benz Actros but has two electric motors close to the rear-axle wheel hubs. These output 126kW and a maximum torque of 485Nm. This results in 11,000Nm after the outputs are processed by the transmission, which ‘provides a performance equivalent to that of a conventional truck’ apparently. The 240kWh lithium-ion battery pack can be fully charged within two hours when plugged into a 150kW charger.

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