Mercedes-Benz Starts Trials Of Fully Electric Heavy Duty Trucks

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Mercedes-Benz Trucks has launched a 2-year customer trial that will see its new eActros trucks put into the daily rotation with key customers.

The first batch of the fully electric Mercedes-Benz eActros trucks will go to a long-time Mercedes-Benz partner, logistics provider Hermes, as the first of 20 customers that will put the trucks into use in a variety of applications and industries over 2 years.

“The practical trials with the eActros are an important milestone on the way to series production,” noted Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “We want to use the comprehensive findings to realise electric trucks for inner-city distribution from 2021.”

The trial is increasingly timely as many cities, states and countries establish zero-emission targets. Cities across Europe, like Stuttgart in Germany, have already implemented selective bans on older diesel vehicles that restrict entry into the heart of the city. Switching to fully electric vehicles like the eActros would allow logistics providers to continue to operate without being impacted by the new restrictions.

The trial will cycle 18- and 25-ton versions of Mercedes-Benz’s eActros into normal operations for a full year to assess the potential and drawbacks of the vehicles in the real world. The trials will last 1 year each, with 10 customers in the first year and 10 customers participating in the second year of trials, to maximize the exposure the vehicles get to different industries and the customers get to the vehicles.

The new eActros electric truck comes with a 200-kilometer range per charge, which should allow it to meet many daily driving activities for the customers in the trial. Local deliveries are an easy win as are regional point-to-point deliveries where charging can be arranged at or near the end of the route. Most providers will look to utilize the trucks on routes where charging can take place overnight at the depot, with more routes tested as they get familiar with its capabilities, especially with different load profiles.

Hermes, for example, is looking to test one of the 25-ton eActros trucks along one of its usual 50-kilometer routes from a critical logistics center in Friedewald. It’s a hilly route that they run 6 or 8 times per day, which will really put the range and charging capabilities of the eActros to the test. Load hauling capabilities are also of particular interest as trucking companies explore the impact of different types of loads on different terrain.

Hermes’ head of central procurement in Germany, Oliver Lanka, shared that, “Electromobility is an essential component of our sustainability strategy. We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of making our deliveries in all urban centres in Germany emission-free by 2025. Alongside the use of battery-electric vans over the last mile, the gradual electrification of heavy-duty distribution and feeder transport is an important topic for us. We are working together closely with Mercedes-Benz Trucks in this area. Both the technological concept of the eActros and the end-to-end service approach plus the level of advice have impressed us.”

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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