Chocolate Manufacturer Begins E-Truck Testing

By Mike Brezonick22 October 2020

A battery-powered Mercedes-Benz eActros truck has entered regular use at chocolate manufacturer Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co KG, in Waldenbuch, Germany.  The family-owned company, which specializes in square chocolate bars, is testing the eActros for production supply on the route between the Dettenhausen warehouse and the production site in Waldenbuch.

Ritter Sport is using the eActros in flexible shuttle operation to ensure that hazelnuts, almonds, wrapping foil and other packaging materials from the warehouse in Dettenhausen, which is about 7 km away, are delivered for the production of chocolate products. The eActros also supplies the “SchokoShop” – Ritter Sport’s factory outlet at the company’s headquarters – with freshly produced chocolate from the factory next door.

“As a family business, the protection of natural resources is an integral element of our corporate activities,” said Andreas Ronken, CEO at Ritter Sport. “Our goal is to operate in harmony with humankind and nature. As part of the supply chain, this naturally includes transport logistics.

“With the Mercedes-Benz eActros, we are now testing a CO2-neutral transport solution that meets our corporate values of sustainability and transparency.”

The 18-ton truck, with a range of about 200 km, is equipped with a Schmitz Cargobull refrigerated swap body, which is also electrically operated. The batteries of the electric truck are charged overnight on the Ritter Sport factory premises after the day’s tours.

“For more than two years now, numerous customers have been intensively testing our battery-electric eActros for heavy-duty distribution transport in various areas of application,” said Jasper Hafkamp, head of Global Marketing Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “We are delighted that Ritter Sport – the manufacturer of the well-known square chocolate bars with a long tradition – is now also using the eActros here in the Stuttgart area to supply its production in line with demand.”

Since 2020, the eActros has been in the second phase of its practical testing and will gradually be handed over to other customers. One of the many findings gained during the practical tests is that the eActros’s range of about 200 km has proven to be realistic, regardless of payload, route or topography, the company said.

The eActros is based on the chassis of the Mercedes-Benz Actros. At the same time, the vehicle’s architecture is completely geared to electric drive and has a high proportion of specific parts. Drive is provided by two electric motors close to the rear axle wheel hubs. The motors have an output of 126 kW each and a maximum torque of 485 Nm each. This results in 11,000 Nm each after the transmission ratio, which is a performance equivalent to that of a conventional truck, the company said. Lithium-ion batteries with 240 kWh storage supply the energy and depending on the available charging power, the batteries can be fully charged within two hours , Mercedes-Benz said.

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