We’ve written about electric garbage trucks since 2012. They make a lot of sense for a handful of reasons: clearly defined routes and range needs, low speed (good for range) but benefit from a lot of torque (electric specialty), a lot of space on the bottom in which to pack batteries, regenerative braking will help a lot. It’s nice to see that Daimler is joining our enthusiasm for this topic, and going approximately 1 million steps further than us by bringing an electric trash truck to market.
The Mercedes-Benz eEconic is based on the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eActros, an electric truck used for heavy-duty shipping that goes into volume production in 2021. The eActros has approximately 200 km of range, which sounds tiny in 2020, but if that’s all a garbage truck needs, why use a larger and more expensive battery? Here are several pics of the eActros (not the eEconic, of which there are no pics yet), courtesy Daimler:
When is the eEconic launching? 2021 — next year. Well, “practical use” starts then, while volume production is scheduled for 2022.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of an electric vehicle of any sort, and an electric truck in particular, is lower cost of ownership. An electric motor is approximately 3–4 times more efficient than a fossil fuel engine, and there should also be much less maintenance needed on an electric powertrain.
Getting into details a little bit, Mercedes-Benz writes, “The eEconic will at first be offered in the configuration 6×2/N NLA and is mainly in demand as a waste-collection vehicle. Battery-electric trucks are very well suited for urban use in waste management due to the comparatively short and plannable daily routes of up to 100 kilometers with a high proportion of stop-and-go in inner-city traffic. …
“The low-positioned “DirectVision cab” with a panoramic windscreen and glazed passenger door gives the driver direct visual contact with vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians – a crucial safety criterion in road traffic. The driver is supported by a large number of intelligent safety-assistance systems such as Sideguard Assist. Driver and crew get in and out of the vehicle using only two steps on the side facing away from traffic. This makes exiting the cab safe and helps to avoid accidents. The comfortable standing height in the interior also facilitates access.”
Dr. Ralf Forcher, Head of Marketing, Sales and Service, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks: “The eEconic is a major milestone for the sustainable organization of municipal logistics. Thanks to its application profile, the vehicle is ideally suited for electrification due to its application profile, for example in waste collection with stop-and-go traffic and plannable daily tours. It combines two important features, especially for use in urban areas: It is locally emission-free and very quiet.”
Ah yes, quiet! Who hasn’t been irritated by loud garbage trucks at some point in their lives?
Images courtesy Daimler