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Mercedes is testing eActros: electric trucks in series from 2021

Mercedes tests eActros electric truck
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Testing instead of announcing: While companies like Tesla or Nikola are announcing electric trucks with almost unbelievable ranges and driving performance, Mercedes is taking to the streets: Customers will be testing 10 electric Actros this year, The electric truck should be ready for series production from 2021. Until then, the scope, benefits and costs must be clarified. The ministries for the environment and the economy are funding the project from a ten-million-fund.

Two electric motors with 485 Nm each

The electric Actros specifically drives with a portal axle from ZF borrowed from a hybrid bus, which has been heavily modified for use in trucks: Among other things, the ground clearance increases to 20 centimeters. Two electric motors are located near the wheel hubs, each with 170 hp and 485 Nm to drive the truck as quickly as a diesel engine. The electric motor has the advantage that it has no torque curve and makes no noise.

Batteries with 240 kWh capacity

The 18 and 25-tonne two- and three-axle vehicles are intended for the inner-city distribution traffic. There they should be able to travel up to 200 kilometers with one battery charge. If the eleven battery packs with a total of 240 kWh capacity are empty, the eActros hangs up to recharge with 20 to 80 kW in three to eleven hours, depending on the charging option.

Electrical auxiliary units

The batteries are in Steel housing housed in the frame. According to Mercedes, in the event of an accident, the brackets give way before the housing deforms. Three battery packs are housed in the frame, eight below the frame. Ancillary units such as the air compressor for the brakes, the power steering and the cooling unit for the body are operated electrically. In addition to the high-voltage network for the drive, a 12-volt network supplies the lights, indicators, horn and cab with power.

Driving impression from the ride

But now to the exciting question: How does the eActros drive? For the time being, this can only be answered from the passenger's perspective, as only factory drivers are allowed to drive on the test site in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. From the passenger's perspective, the driver does what he doesin the conventional Actros or Antos: start the engine or on-board electrical system - the typical clacking noise is much more intense and can be heard around the vehicle -, step on the brake pedal, switch to 'D' on the steering column switch and release the parking brake: one more look in the mirror and the eActros experience can begin.

Accelerates silently and brutally

When the driver steps on the accelerator courageously, which of course uses unnecessary electricity, but is guaranteed for astonished drivers' faces at the traffic lights the full-grown truck accelerates so brutally that the pen flies off the shelf towards you. And, as is known from smaller e-vehicles, steplessly and almost noiselessly. On the track, however, the eActros does its laps just as calmly and reliably, with the constant up and down of the suspension, as its conventional brother. Whether the eActros electrifies the hauliers in the tough everyday work as well as the press representatives, no longer empty on the free test track but loaded in the middle of the urban jungle, will be shown in the course of the year.

The impression of the ride comes from eurotransport.de

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