Mercedes-Benz electric long-haul truck premiere set
By Becky Schultz21 June 2023
On October 10, 2023, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will host the world premiere of the series version of its battery-electric truck for long-distance haulage, with a new design and a new name. Previously the eActros LongHaul, the vehicle will debut as the eActros 600, which derived from its battery capacity in kilowatt hours.
Three battery packs will provide the vehicle with an installed total capacity of over 600 kWh in series production, while two electric motors – part of a new, efficient electric drive axle developed in-house – will generate a continuous output of 400 kW as well as a peak output of over 600 kW.
The batteries used in the eActros 600 employ lithium-iron phosphate cell technology (LFP), which the company said are characterized by a long service life and more usable energy. The developers aim for the batteries of the production model to be capable of being charged from 20% to 80% in under 30 minutes at a charging station with an output of about 1 MW.
Mercedes-Benz said the truck’s high battery capacity and new e-axle generation will enable a range of around 500 km without intermediate charging. The e-axle was specially developed for use in long-distance haulage; its architecture is based on a system designed for 800 V instead of 400 V.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks will produce a tractor unit as well as rigid variants, starting at market launch. Development engineers are designing the truck so that the vehicle and its components meet the same durability requirements as a comparable conventional heavy long-distance Actros, the company added.
The new trucks will be produced on the existing assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz Wörth (Germany) production plant, parallel to and alongside trucks being equipped with a diesel drive. The electric drive components will be installed at that site, with the e-axle, high-voltage batteries and front box – a complex module containing control units, high-voltage components as well as the electric air compressor – mounted in several production steps. Currently, prototype vehicles are being built on the assembly line as close to series production as possible.
Central components will come from the company’s plants in Mannheim, Kassel and Gaggenau. The front box is being built in Mannheim in both the prototype phase and in subsequent series production. Essential components of the new e-axle generation – including transmission components such as shafts and gears as well as housing parts – will be produced in Gaggenau and delivered to Kassel for assembly.
“With the eActros 600, the focus of production at our Mercedes-Benz Powersystems plants in Mannheim, Kassel and Gaggenau is shifting more and more to e-mobility,” said Yaris Pürsün, head of Global Powersystems Operation, Daimler Truck. “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.”
Prototypes of the eActros 600 were put through winter testing in Finland at the start of the year, with a a fleet of around 50 prototype vehicles currently being built for practical testing with the first customers. Series production of the e-truck is planned for 2024.
Karin Rådström, CEO, Mercedes-Benz Trucks, believes the eActros 600 will be able to replace the majority of diesel trucks in long-haul segment, “as it sets new standards in terms of cost-effectiveness for our customers. It also offers huge potential for reducing CO2 emissions.
“I am convinced that this truck will define the new benchmark in road freight transport,” Rådström added.