The German commercial vehicle conversion company Pepper Motion has announced that the electrified Mercedes-Benz Actros MP5 will be available in series production quality from 2023. The company has also concluded an important agreement in Eastern Europe with Skoda Group to convert diesel buses to electric.
For the Actros conversion, Pepper Motion is offering the MP5 alongside the Actros MP3 to convert the tractor unit launched in 2019 as an 18-tonne 4×2 (low liner, low frame or standard frame). The company says that its core target markets are Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Poland.
The first vehicles will receive four battery packs with a total of 240 kWh. Pepper thus indicates a range of around 250 kilometres. This should be sufficient for cargo transport, such as round-trip transport or factory transport, while day trips are reliably possible with intermediate charging.
Pepper plans to produce around 50 converted Actros tractor units when series production ramps up in 2023, and around 2,500 vehicles by 2030. Sales of the Actros MP5 will begin immediately, with production scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2023.
Pepper is not only expanding its model range but also entering new markets: Skoda Group has signed an agreement with Pepper Motion to convert diesel buses to electric buses. The cooperation gives Pepper broader access to various markets, including Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. It also grants exclusivity with regard to its solutions in, for example, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria or Finland.
Although the Skoda Group has the same origins as the Skoda Auto unit, now known as the VW car brand, they are now separate companies. Thus, there is no connection with the VW Group. Škoda Group is owned by PPF Group and includes Plzeň-based Škoda Transportation. We have reported about this company referred to as Skoda Electric. Most recently Skoda received an order for fourteen new electric buses from Prague Public Transport. This is the first delivery of electric buses to be carried out by Škoda in cooperation with its Turkish sister company Temsa.
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