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Long-distance Mercedes-Benz eActros unveiled

Mercedes-Benz lifts curtain on long-haul electric eActros 600 truck with 500km range

24 Oct 2023

MERCEDES-BENZ Trucks has turned the long haul electric truck market on its head, unveiling the longest-range prime mover so far with more than 1000km possible in a single day using intermediate ‘along the way’ charging. 


Central to the eActros 600’s claimed 500km driving range on a single charge is its new battery design, with a capacity of 621kWh and fast-charging capabilities able to accept up to 400kW DC from launch. 


Once the infrastructure allows it, Mercedes-Benz says the eActros 600 is designed to be charged at up to one megawatt, which will enable operators to re-juice from 20 to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes.


A new 800-volt e-axle, with two electric motors and a four-speed transmission, powers the eActros 600 producing a constant 400kW of power with peak 600kW output available during acceleration.


With a gross combination mass (GCM) of 44 tonnes, the big Benz looks to have the chops for semitrailer configurations in Australia. Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will also produce rigid variants of the eActros 600, opening the all-electric truck up to urban applications. 


Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia confirmed it will be considering the eActros 600 model for the Australian market, but cannot yet comment on local specifications. 


“It is too early to discuss how this type of vehicle might fit into the Australian and New Zealand markets, but that is certainly something we will be looking at closely,” said Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific Vice President Andrew Assimo.


“Our customers would be delighted to operate a truck like the eActros 600, which is a serious zero-emission workhorse. 


“Unique local customer requirements and regulations would have to be considered when we determine the final specification for our market.


“In the meantime, we are working through our preparations for the local introduction of the exciting eActros rigid and eEconic battery electric models.”


Mr Assimo also suggested that fuel-cell electric trucks make more sense for linehaul or interstate use in Australia, while electric models suit intrastate applications. 


“It’s our view that fuel cell electric will deliver for longer linehaul applications with maximum weights, but a truck like the eActros 600 would be brilliant for many intrastate applications,” he said.


“With public commercial vehicle charging in its infancy in Australia, we see most battery electric trucks charging at a depot rather than public charging locations.”


While pricing has not been confirmed, Mercedes-Benz stated the eActros 600 will have a purchase price that is “around two to two-and-a-half times higher than the diesel equivalent”.


Comprehensive on-board safety technologies are built around a so-called ‘sensor fusion’ system with a wide 270-degree view, which is said to enhance the efficiency of features like active brake assist, front guard assist, active sideguard assist and active drive assist.


Mercedes-Benz has also fitted an external acoustic vehicle alerting system, offering varied noise levels depending on throttle position and speed, to keep road users, pedestrians and cyclists safe around the otherwise silent truck.


In its aim to set a new standard for truck technology, sustainability and design, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has also premiered its new design language with a heavy focus on “efficient aerodynamics”.


The aerodynamic shape, with clear lines and smooth, slippery surfaces reduces drag while offering unique visuals.


A completely closed grille-less front hood and matrix LED headlights come together to produce a futuristic cab, and to further improve aerodynamics the front-end was extended by 80mm.


The ‘ProCabin’ design now has a nine per cent lower cW value, compared with the comparative Actros cab currently in production, leading to improved driving range.


The eActros 600 also features two electric-mechanical power take-off (PTO) units, to operate mechanical or hydraulic equipment like tippers, sliding floors or cranes.


A fleet of around 50 prototype trucks are currently being built, ahead of customer trials to put the eActros 600 to work in real-world transport applications. 


The truck-maker will then commence series production by the end of 2024, assembling the electric trucks alongside diesel models at its existing factory in Woerth am Rhein, Germany. 


“The eActros 600 stands for the transformation of road freight transport towards CO2-neutrality like no other truck with a three-pointed star,” said Mercedes-Benz Trucks CEO, Karin Rådström.


“It is characterised by highly innovative drive technology that can offer our customers particularly high energy efficiency and thus profitability. This makes entry into e-mobility even more attractive for fleet operators.”

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