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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

Daimler Announce that Amazon and Rhenus Set to Test the eActros LongHaul in Real-World Operations.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has announced that it will begin real-world testing of its battery-electric heavy-duty long-distance truck at an early stage. Amazon and Rhenus will test the eActros LongHaul in real-world operations from 2023. The two companies have each signed a letter of intent with Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

The logistics service provider Rhenus will use the e-truck in many different business areas to gain as much experience as possible. To this end, the vehicle will be tested, among other applications, in the transport of sea containers and with a tarpaulin trailer for its functionality and suitability for daily operations. The first prototypes of the electric truck are already undergoing intensive testing. The eActros LongHaul will also be tested on public roads this year. Series production is planned for 2024.

The eActros LongHaul range of around 500 kilometres on a single battery charge and is capable of high-performance charging - so-called megawatt charging. A "concept prototype" of the eActros LongHaul will be the highlight of

Michael Scheib, Head of Product Management, Mercedes-Benz Trucks: "As with all our e-trucks, we will rely on early practical tests with customers for our eActros LongHaul. By doing so our engineers will be able to incorporate valuable knowledge gained from real-world operations - especially concerning high-performance charging - directly into the development of the series-production vehicle. We are very pleased with the planned partnerships with Amazon and Rhenus."

Andreas Marschner, Vice President, Amazon Transportation Services: "Amazon has pledged to become carbon neutral across the company by 2040, i.e. net zero. Transport is a core element of this journey. Due to today's range constraints of batteries, recharging is a key challenge we need to tackle. Building high-power charging solutions is a promising approach and we are excited to test it with our partners."

Sascha Hähnke, Managing Director of Rhenus Transport: "Of course, the so-called depot charging forms the basis for the use of battery-electric commercial vehicles. But suppose we want to use significantly higher numbers of e-trucks nationwide in Germany in the future and, above all, over longer distances. In that case, we will have to use every charging alternative. Of course, this includes high-performance charging on the road and, ideally, during the statutory rest periods. This is the only way to achieve optimal truck capacity utilisation."

Real-world operation part of project: "High performance charging for long-haul trucking"

Amazon and Rhenus are planning to test the eActros LongHaul as part of the test project "High performance charging for long-haul trucking" (HoLa), under the auspices of the VDA. HoLa aims to develop, operate and scientifically support a high-performance charging infrastructure for battery-powered long-distance transport. In addition to Daimler Truck, other consortium partners from industry and research are involved in the project. CCS charging stations will initially be installed at several locations along the A2 between Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia. As the project progresses the selected sites are to be equipped with charging stations that enable the megawatt charging system (MCS). Daimler Truck is extensively involved in developing the new MCS charging standard as an active member of CharIN - the global association for standardising charging infrastructure.

The HoLa charging points are to be installed at several locations along the A2. These are located both directly on the motorway and in logistics centers. In this way, the system can be tested under real-world conditions and authentic user experience can be gained. One focus of testing is on the rapid charging of e-trucks: the battery electric vehicles should be able to be charged at high power within the statutory break time of 45 minutes.

Customer testing is an integral part of the development of e-trucks

A team from Mercedes-Benz Trucks specialising in customer testing will accompany the customers throughout the project period. The e-truck drivers will receive extensive instruction on how to use the vehicle and charging system. Feedback from drivers will be collected in the form of regular interviews and questionnaires to be consolidated and then evaluated for the further development of the prototypes and charging technology. Measuring instruments are also installed in the e-trucks, which collect data while driving and transmit it to Mercedes-Benz Trucks for evaluation. Selected data will then be made available to the research institutions involved.

The batteries used in the eActros LongHaul employ lithium-iron phosphate cell technology (LFP). These are characterised, above all, by a long service life and more usable energy. The batteries can be charged from 20 to 80 % in well under 30 minutes at a charging station with an output of about one megawatt. The long-range on a single charge in combination with megawatt charging results in overall ranges on a par with conventional trucks and thus enables two-shift operations. A remarkably well-balanced driveline also characterises the vehicle for an enjoyable driving experience. In addition, the eActros LongHaul features the manufacturer's numerous safety innovations. The core of the Mercedes-Benz Trucks concept for battery-electric long-distance transport is to offer customers a holistic solution consisting of vehicle technology, consulting, charging infrastructure and services. Therefore, the eActros LongHaul should be the right choice for customers in terms of profitability, sustainability and reliability.

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