Mercedes-Benz delivers electric eActros heavy-duty truck to Logistik Schmitt for testing; countering catenaries
Mercedes-Benz Trucks has handed over a fully electric eActros truck to Murg Valley (Southern Germany)-based logistics company Logistik Schmitt.
As part of the eWayBW project, commercial transport will be electric on the B462 federal road around Rastatt with the test operation of catenary trucks as of 2020. On an approximately 18 km long pilot track on the B462, three sections with a total length of almost 6 km will be electrified.
Mercedes-Benz eActros, 2 x electric hub motor, 240 kW, 2x 485 N·m, wheel formula 6x2, M-cab, Range of up to 200 km with customary level of performance and payload.
While preparations for the construction of the necessary infrastructure are still ongoing, at a cost of some €17.6 million (US$20 million), the eActros is mobile with its battery-electric drive, fully flexible and in need of only minimal infrastructure; nothing more than a charging station, Mercedes-Benz Trucks points out.
Daimler has taken the position that due to the high infrastructure costs involved, the company does not see potential in overhead lines at present; also in view of the rapid development of battery and fuel cell technology.
From spring of this year, Logistik Schmitt will be operating the eActros in place of a conventional diesel truck as part of a field test transporting transmission housings. The eActros will be tested on an around 7km stretch in a demanding three-shift system between Logistik Schmitt’s warehouse in Ötigheim and Rastatt's Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant. The daily tour of the 25-tonne truck totals around 168 kilometers.
This represents the kick-off to a series of eActros field tests taking place over several years in the Murg valley and the surrounding region. As a next step, comparative tests with the catenary project will be carried out with an advanced version of the eActros as a semitrailer tractor variant with higher tonnage and range.
Our eActros has been out on public roads since June 2018 and has already covered more than 30,000 kilometers with its battery-electric drive. Together with customers, we have been compiling experiences of the eActros in regular everyday operations since September. Its range of 200 kilometers has proved to be absolutely realistic. The eActros completes its transportation tasks regardless of the route or other factors. The expenses involved in installing one charging station at each customer’s premises is comparatively low. There is every indication that we are on the right track with our eActros concept. Our aim as of 2021 is to have locally emission-free and quiet heavy-duty series production trucks operating in cities—operating economically on a par with diesel trucks.
We are delighted that Logistik Schmitt will now use the eActros and are excited about further interesting findings gained from practical operations.—Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks
In the first phase of the eActros test operation, Logistik Schmitt is integrating a vehicle with a swap body into the company fleet. The eActros transports up to twelve tonnes and drives twelve tours a day. The batteries in the eActros are charged also while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded so that the total 200-kilometer range of the eActros can be optimally used. Initially the vehicle will be charged using a mobile charging station.
Second phase: parallel testing with the catenary truck. As of the second phase of the eActros project in the Murg valley, the 25-tonne truck from the first phase will be replaced by an advanced version of the electric truck in form of a semitrailer tractor unit.
Using the eActros semitrailer, Logistik Schmitt will deliver axle components along the 14 kilometers from the warehouse in Ötigheim to the Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant—mainly via the B462. This route is, for the most part, the same as that for the catenary project.
The specifications of the eActros semitrailer truck will be comparable to those of the overhead catenary trucks, among other things in terms of the higher tonnage and range. This parallel testing of the eActros and the catenary trucks will take place for approximately one year and will deliver data and findings necessary for comparing both concepts, e.g. in what way the vehicles are suitable for this operation.
Third phase: direct comparison with the overhead catenary truck. During a third phase of the project, the eActros semitrailer truck will travel the exact catenary truck route for approximately one to two weeks so that a direct comparison can be made. This will serve to validate the second phase. During this direct comparison, the eActros will transport rolls of paper the 18 kilometers from the paper mills in Gernsbach-Obertsrot to the Fahrner logistics site in Kuppenheim—just like the trucks involved in the overhead-lines project.
A conventional diesel Actros equipped to the Euro VI emissions standard and fitted with measuring equipment will serve as a neutral starting point for the comparison of the concepts and will drive along the overhead-lines route. It will then be possible to compare the energy consumption of the electric trucks—battery-electric and catenary—with the consumption of the diesel truck.
The eActros is based on the frame of the Mercedes-Benz Actros. Beyond that, the eActros uses an architecture based entirely on electric drive with a large proportion of specific parts. The drive comes from two electric motors near the wheel hubs on the rear axle. Their output is 126 kW each, and the maximum torque is 485 Nm each. Downstream of the transmission that equates to 11,000 Nm each. The driving output is therefore on a level with a diesel truck.
The maximal permitted axle load is the usual 11.5 tonnes. The energy is stored in lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 240 kWh. Depending on the available charging capacity, a full charge takes between two and eleven hours (at 150 or 20 kW respectively).