Mercedes-Benz has started the second test phase of the eActros “innovation fleet”: Customers will now test the electric truck in everyday use. The first eActros of the second phase will be supplied by the Dutch logistics service provider Simon Loos.
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After around a year of intensive practical use by ten customers in Germany and Switzerland, eight of the purely battery-powered trucks are now being successively sent to new customers in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, who will also put the eActros through its paces in everyday use for around a year each. Two vehicles will remain in the operational test at customers in the first test phase.
At Simon Loos, the 25-tonne truck equipped with a refrigerated box will be deployed in the region around Rotterdam and The Hague, and the vehicle will primarily be used to supply supermarkets of the Albert Heijn chain, the largest grocery chain in the Netherlands. The eActros will start its day trip in the Delfgauw distribution centre and from there supply stores in Rotterdam, The Hague or Delft. Charging will take place overnight at the depot and when reloading between delivery tours.
This is not the supermarket chain’s first contact with electric vehicles: Albert Heijn himself uses a Fuso eCanter, and the company has also had 25 VW Crafter converted to e-drives for use in the Amsterdam delivery fleet.
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“With the practical test of the eActros, we are now taking another big step towards sustainable transport in the retail sector – together with Albert Heijn and Mercedes-Benz Trucks,” says Wim Roks, fleet manager at Simon Loos. “We are looking forward to the experience we can gain with the vehicle over the coming months.”
Daimler says that the tests so far have proven the range of around 200 kilometres to be “absolutely realistic” regardless of payload, route or topography.
Daimler has not yet named any other customers for the second test phase. In the first phase, which began in September 2018, the eActros were used by TBS Transportbeton, Meyer-Logistik, Logistik Schmitt and Edeka, among others.
Daimler presented the eActros in spring 2018. The electric truck is driven by two electric motors. Their output is 125 kW each, the maximum torque is 485 Nm each. A total of eleven lithium-ion battery packs with a total capacity of 240 kWh supply the electric motors with electricity. All auxiliary units – such as the air conditioning system and power steering – are also electrically powered. Mercedes specifies a maximum charging capacity of 150 kW, and a charging process should then take around two hours.
Update 17 August 2020: According to Daimler, series production of the eActros is scheduled to start next year. As the first customer in Germany in the recently launched second test phase, DB Schenker is taking over a battery-electric Mercedes-Benz eActros from the “innovation fleet”. The logistics company uses the electric 25-tonne truck to deliver general cargo, i.e. palletized consignments that are too large and heavy for parcel shipment, in the centre of Leipzig.