Daimler Launches First Mercedes-branded Electric Semi

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In big news for the shipping industry this week, Daimler trucks revealed the production version of its first-ever, heavy-duty, long-haul battery electric semi truck: the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul semi is capable of hauling 22 tons (!) of cargo more than 300 miles (500 km, or about 311 miles) before it needs to recharge. More significantly, perhaps, that’s about 5 hours of highway driving— which coincides nicely with some of the new(er) break rules being imposed on over-the-road truckers in the US and Canada. Still, these trucks are aimed mainly at the European heavy trucking market, which has been somewhat reluctant to make the switch to BEVs.

“A lot more electric trucks are available now, but their adoption is lagging behind, especially in Europe,” says Nikolas Soulopolous, an analyst at BloombergNEF. “Production capacity is still ramping up slowly, there are not enough suitable public chargers available, and truck batteries remain expensive.”

Despite these challenges, Daimler brass believes the changeover is inevitable, and that their new trucks will help accelerate EV adoption. “We’re confident about these (new) trucks,” said Karin Radstrom, CEO of the Mercedes-Benz truck brand, while presenting the new vehicle at the IAA TRANSPORTATION show in Hannover. “We want to drive this transition.”

eActros Electric Semi Truck Cutaway

eActros electric semi truck chassis battery cutaway
Image courtesy Daimler Trucks.

Helping to “drive that mission” is the aActros’ massive, 600kWh of battery capacity from three battery packs, which send power to two electric motors nestled into a new “e-axle,” which can generate a continuous output of 400kW and a peak output of over 600kW (about 815 HP, which is some 300-400 more HP than what you’d get in a diesel-powered Kenworth T680).

Alongside the e-Actros LongHaul, Daimler also unveiled the eActros “300,” which is a tractor version of the electric semi offering 135 miles of range that’s been designed for flexible, heavy-duty distribution transport and drayage, as well as the medium-duty Mercedes-Benz eAtego. Serial production of the eActros 300 tractor unit is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2023.


Sources | Images: Daimler Trucks, via Bloomberg, the Driven.

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