Mercedes-Benz Goes Long with EActros 600 Electric Truck
The OEM aims to electrify the long-haul trucking industry with its eActros 600 featuring a range of more than 300 miles.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed new details about its eActros 600 long-distance electric truck. The eActros 600 is intended specifically for long-haul use and will serve as the eventual replacement to the conventional diesel propelled Actros. “The eActros 600 is able to replace the majority of diesel trucks in the important long-haul segment, as it sets new standards in terms of cost-effectiveness for our customers,” said Karin Rådström, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
The company also states that prototype production for customer test fleets is already underway and that series production of the eActros 600 should launch in 2024. Mercedes-Benz’s plants in Wörth, Mannheim, Gaggenau and Kassel, Germany, will be responsible for supporting the mass production of the eActros 600. The series-production version of the truck reportedly will make its official world premiere in October 2023.
Mercedes-Benz has made it clear that its holistic strategy for electrification is moving forward at a rapid pace. SAE Media attended a virtual presentation for the company’s van lineup where company representatives stated that Mercedes will significantly reduce investment in ICE powertrains over the remainder of the decade and that starting in 2026, all newly developed vans will be based on the company’s VAN.EA modular and scalable EV architecture.
This mantra carries over into Mercedes’s heavy truck business. Yaris Pürsün, head of global power systems operation for Daimler Truck, said in a statement, “With the eActros 600, the focus of production at our Mercedes-Benz Power Systems plants in Mannheim, Kassel and Gaggenau is shifting more and more to e-mobility. We therefore started to make preparations at an early stage by setting up a production and technology network of competence centers for electric drive components and are already in the midst of preparing for series production of the new generation of our power units.”
Prototype versions of the eActros 600 have already seen winter testing in Finland earlier this year. A fleet of around 50 prototype vehicles is currently under construction and will undergo real-world testing with customers. Mercedes-Benz states that the eActros 600 will be validated to meet the same durability requirements as a comparable conventional long-distance Actros.
In April, Mercedes-Benz announced that logistics provider DB Schenker plans to acquire 100 eActros trucks for long-haul operations in Europe. The companies signed a joint letter of intent, and DB Schenker stated that the trucks are intended to contribute to its goal of achieving CO2 neutrality by 2040.
The 600 nomenclature for the latest eActros is derived from the truck’s battery capacity in kilowatt hours. The eActros 600 also reportedly features a new Mercedes-developed e-axle for increased efficiency. This combination will provide a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles), according to Mercedes-Benz.
Three battery packs for the eActros 600 combined with the two integrated electric motors for the e-axle generate a continuous output of 400 kW as well as a peak output of more than 600 kW. The batteries feature a lithium-iron phosphate cell chemistry. Mercedes-Benz states that the packs should be capable of being charged from 20 to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes at a rate of 1 MW.
The eActros 600 will be produced on the existing assembly line at the Wörth production plant in parallel with its diesel counterparts. The e-axles will be assembled at the Mercedes-Benz Kassel plant. The new e-axle for the eActros 600 was specially developed for use in long-distance hauling and was designed with increased efficiency in mind. Its architecture is designed specifically for 800-volt systems.