Daimler Trucks is working on a purely battery-powered long-haul truck, the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul, which is designed to cover regular journeys on plannable routes in an energy-efficient manner. Daimler Trucks plans to have the eActros LongHaul ready for series production in 2024. Its range will be approximately 500 kilometres.
eActros LongHaul will be in the same vehicle class as the GenH2 truck, which has a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell system. Its features will be largely identical to those of the series-produced GenH2 Truck or a conventional diesel truck.
The comparatively short range of the eActros LongHaul is offset by its high energy efficiency, as battery electric drive has the highest efficiency among alternative drive systems. This offers transport companies significant advantages in the application scenarios envisaged for the eActros LongHaul due to its low energy costs.
Many of the long-haul applications in the practical operations of transport companies do not require a range greater than the approximately 500 kilometres that the eActros LongHaul will be able to cover on a full charge.
In addition, legal requirements regarding truck drivers’ driving times limit the need for longer ranges, depending on the case. In the EU, for example, truck drivers have to take a break of at least 45 minutes after 4.5 hours of driving. During this time, thanks to the latest charging technology, the battery can be charged with a large proportion of the energy needed for the ongoing journey.
The eActros LongHaul is targeted for regular use on plannable routes, and with the appropriate distances and charging possibilities.
With market launch planned for the middle of the decade, the eActros LongHaul will be available some time before the GenH2 Truck. The required infrastructure can be set up sooner – and at comparatively low cost – by transport companies for charging at their depots.
Depot charging is the most important step for use of the eActros LongHaul, and means that the first areas of application can already be covered.
Another key component is opportunity charging for range extension, for example, while unloading or loading when the electric truck is anyway stationary.
The company expects a nationwide charging infrastructure to come up in the future, which will maximise the operating range of battery-electric trucks.
At the same time, development of more durable batteries will contribute to the competitiveness of battery-electric trucks, reducing total cost of ownership over a vehicle’s lifecycle.