Mercedes-Benz Trucks has delivered a fully electric eActros (earlier post) for on-road testing to EDEKA. The German retail association will be testing a 25-tonne truck with refrigerated body for one year in Berlin, where it will be used to transport fresh, temperature-sensitive foodstuffs in Germany's capital.
The daily route from the warehouse in Grünheide on the outskirts of Berlin to various EDEKA supermarket branches in the city center and surrounding areas is between 150 and 300 km (93 and 186 miles). The vehicle will operate in a double shift pattern. The weight of the transported goods can be up to 10 tonnes.
During loading and unloading, the vehicle is charged to ensure that the total range of the eActros (up to 200 km with a single battery charge) is optimally utilized. EDEKA is the only company from the retail sector in Germany which will use the eActros in its own fleet of vehicles.
EDEKA is one of a group of 20 customers—all from various industries—that are now integrating the heavy-duty electric truck into their fleets. Each of these selected customers will put a near-series version of either the 18 or 25-tonne variant through its paces in real operations and will test the respective vehicle for its suitability for their daily field of work.
The aim of Mercedes-Benz Trucks is to make emission-free and quiet driving a reality in cities from the year 2021, also with series heavy-duty trucks—and all of this as economically viable as with a diesel truck. The test series consists of two phases, each with ten customers and spanning a total of around two years.
The development and testing of the heavy-duty electric truck in short-radius distribution operations is sponsored as part of the “Concept ELV²” project to varying degrees by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
Being involved with future technologies plays a key role for EDEKA as a driver of innovation in the retail sector. We are already committed to reducing emissions in many areas – particularly when it comes to logistics. This is where electric mobility comes in as it presents many opportunities but also poses several challenges. We look forward to gaining valuable experience with this on-road test in Berlin.—Rolf Lange, Head of Corporate Communications at EDEKA’s Hamburg headquarters
The removable container on the eActros used by EDEKA is the "W.KO COOL” model supplied by Schmitz Cargobull. It has optimum insulation for energy-efficient transport of refrigerated goods. Thies robust body is suited for intensive day-to-day use. Cooled entirely by electricity, the cooling unit is totally emission-free and is specially designed for use in distribution transport.
The first eActros of the “innovation fleet” has been in service at a customer since September. The rest of the first phase of vehicle hand-overs will be completed by the end of the year. All test customers operate in short-radius distribution and use the eActros for tasks which would otherwise be carried out by conventional diesel vehicles—the customers cover a broad spectrum of different sectors and categories. The palette ranges from food to building and industrial materials. The bodies vary from refrigeration units to dry containers, silos or tarpaulin-covered units.