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Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 in practical driving conditions at the "eActros 600 Driving Experience” in Wörth

Driving Experience with near-series prototypes of the eActros 600
Daimler Europe
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Driving Experience with near-series prototypes of the eActros 600

IMAGE SOURCE: Daimler Truck AG

  • Mercedes-Benz Trucks showcased the eActros 600 at the "eActros 600 Driving Experience" in Wörth, demonstrating its capabilities on typical long-distance routes.

  • Key features of the eActros 600 include its aerodynamic ProCabin, powerful acceleration, smooth driving behavior, and range-increasing recuperation.

  • Safety systems such as Predictive Powertrain Control, Active Brake Assist 6, and Active Sideguard Assist 2 enhance driving comfort and safety.

  • The eActros 600 Experience World highlights the truck's ecosystem, focusing on profitability, sustainability, services, and charging infrastructure.

  • The eActros 600 boasts a range of around 500 kilometers without intermediate charging, with three battery packs totaling 621 kWh and future megawatt charging capability.

  • Mercedes-Benz Trucks plans to start series production of the eActros 600 at the end of 2024, with over 1,000 firm orders already received.

 

  • Near-production prototypes of the eActros 600 are tested on typical long-distance routes.

  • Characteristic eActros 600 features include its aerodynamic ProCabin as well as its powerful acceleration, smooth driving behavior, and range-increasing recuperation.

  • Systems such as Predictive Powertrain Control, Active Brake Assist 6 or Active Sideguard Assist 2 ensure greater comfort and safety while driving the eActros 600.

  • The new eActros 600 Experience World presents the overall ecosystem around the eActros 600 with a focus on profitability and sustainability, services and charging infrastructure.

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It has a futuristic look, glides along very quietly on the road, is locally carbon-neutral when transporting, and makes a range of around 500 kilometers possible without intermediate charging – this truck therefore has what it takes to revolutionize long-distance road freight transport. But how does the eActros 600 drive in the field? The “eActros 600 Driving Experience” organized by Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Wörth provided answers to this question. Here, the manufacturer demonstrated to international journalists and influencers what the e-truck specially designed for long-distance haulage is capable of and how it can offer customers greater value with its external and internal qualities.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks designed three routes for the “eActros 600 Driving Experience.” Starting each time from the Wörth Customer Center, these routes through parts of the Südliche Weinstraße and Germersheim offer a good mix of highways, primary and secondary roads and industrial areas and therefore demonstrate very well how the eActros 600 runs on an everyday basis. A standard semitrailer was attached to the vehicle, with a gross combination mass of around 40 tons.

Aerodynamic design and innovative drive technology

The exterior look of the eActros 600 inevitably catches the eye before the trip begins. The entire design of the futuristic ProCabin was created by Mercedes-Benz Trucks for particularly efficient aerodynamics in order to reduce energy consumption. Then it's time to set off – and you can barely hear anything except the compressor, the rolling noise of the tires and the wind. The electric truck starts to roll immediately as soon as the brake pedal is released. Once again, these first experiences alone give an impression of the fascination of battery-electric driving with the eActros 600.

This impression keeps getting stronger while driving on the road. When driving on highways or on primary and secondary roads with different topography, as well as through industrial areas and towns, the relaxed gliding motion is immediately noticeable and the driver hardly feels the gearshifts or tractive power interruptions. The electric motors provide exactly the same high torque over the entire rpm range, and the eActros 600's powerful and effortless acceleration is evident in every traffic situation, even under full load. The manufacturer has developed an electric axle designed for 800 volts with two electric motors and a four-speed transmission specifically for use in long-distance haulage. The electric motors generate a continuous output of 400 kW as well as a maximum design speed of 600 kW.

Driving Experience with near-series prototypes of the eActros 600<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Daimler Truck AG

Predictive Powertrain Control

In addition, the eActros 600 features the Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) cruise control and transmission control system, which is explicitly matched to the electric drive. Predictive Powertrain Control automatically takes account of the topography, road layout and traffic signs for the most efficient driving style possible. At the same time, it now also uses route information from the navigation system to make better detection of upcoming route events possible. This allows the driver to avoid unnecessary braking, acceleration and gearshifts, and to use the battery energy as efficiently as possible. As the trip clearly shows, consumption naturally always depends on the selected drive program. For example, “Range” mode stands for restriction to 70 percent engine output and 82 km/h, “Economy” mode for 85 percent and 85 km/h, and “Power” mode for 100 percent and 90 km/h.

As likewise shown in the “Driving Experience”, it is also possible to make highly individual settings for the PPC in the on-board computer. For example, the upper speed tolerance can be set to 2 to 10 km/h and the lower speed tolerance to -1 to -10 km/h for rolling phases. In addition, it is possible to specify how much the speed should be reduced when approaching a curve. It is also possible to make a setting for coasting to a stop for route events such as stop and right-of-way signs or traffic circles. This also applies to the so-called downhill momentum peak in order to take the speed from a downhill stretch into a new uphill gradient.

Driving Experience with near-series prototypes of the eActros 600<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Daimler Truck AG

Energy efficiency and battery capacity

During the “eActros 600 Driving Experience,” it is also possible to track how sustainably the eActros 600 uses its energy with the help of intelligent recuperation. This is because the electric motor converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy upon braking or by active operation of the pitman arm during the coasting phase. The energy generated in this way is fed back into the batteries of the electric truck, thus contributing to increasing the range. Depending on the situation, the driver can choose among five different braking levels. The one-pedal driving function can also be activated on the touchscreen in the digital cockpit as desired – in other words, deceleration by recuperation with reduced actuation of the mechanical brake.

The Interactive 2 multimedia cockpit provides continuous information on the state of charge of the batteries, the remaining range, and the current and average energy consumption in kWh per 100 kilometers. On the 72-kilometer-long circuit from the Wörth customer center via the B 9 to Germersheim and Schwegenheim, from there via the B 272 to Weingarten and Hochstadt, and finally via smaller country roads, an industrial area and the A 65 highway back to the Customer Center, the energy consumption on a trip in a near-production prototype of the eActos 600 is around 111 kWh per 100 kilometers on average. When driving off, the display showed a state of charge of 85 percent and a remaining range of 470 kilometers. Upon arrival back at the Customer Center, the corresponding figures were a state of charge of 71 percent and a remaining range of 370 kilometers.

Keyword energy: The eActros 600 has three battery packs, each with 207 kWh, resulting in a total installed capacity of 621 kWh. The batteries are based on lithium iron phosphate cell technology and feature a long service life. In addition to CCS charging with up to 400 kW, the vehicle will later also be capable of megawatt charging (MCS). The batteries can then be charged from 20 to 80 percent in approximately 30 minutes at a corresponding charging station with a charging power of around one megawatt. In April 2024, Mercedes-Benz Trucks developers successfully charged the eActros 600 to 1,000 kilowatts for the first time in an internal test. Mercedes-Benz Trucks is extensively involved in the development of the new, industry-wide MCS charging standard.

Charging the near-series prototype of the eActros 600<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Daimler Truck AG

Application tool for route analysis and real journey

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has developed a free application tool, the “eTruckReady” web aplication, making it possible to check in advance on a computer how a planned route can be covered using an electric truck and where the vehicle may need to be charged. First, it is necessary to select the vehicle model and the variant – in the case of the eActros 600, the 6x2 chassis, 6x2 chassis with trailer or 4x2 semitrailer truck –, then the body or trailer with or without refrigeration and individually adjustable refrigeration temperature. In addition to the actual distance traveled, parameters such as day and time, outside temperature and payload can also be configured. The tool then calculates the route taking, the topography into account, and shows whether it can be driven electrically with the parameters entered – including the total distance and driving time. If the battery capacity is not sufficient, waypoints can be added for recharging the vehicle. This creates a realistic and meaningful usage profile for customers.

Further information on the “eTruckReady” app is available at: www.etruckready.mercedes-benz-trucks.com

On the 72-kilometre round trip from the Wörth customer centre via the A65 towards Landau, smaller country roads and an industrial area onto the B272 towards Schwegenheim, past Hochstadt and Weingarten and finally via the B9 back to the customer centre, eTruck Ready predicts a remaining charge level of 49 per cent at the start with a charge level of 64 per cent and a total weight of 40 tonnes.  After a good hour's drive in moderate temperatures with a near-series prototype of the eActros 600, the display confirmed the eTruck Ready forecast with a state of charge of 49 per cent.

The actual consumption and the resulting range depend on many factors. In addition to weight, vehicle equipment and tyre rolling resistance, temperature, weather conditions, traffic volume, topography, driving mode and, of course, driving style are also decisive. In this respect, the eActros 600 Driving Experience gives every driver the opportunity to measure themselves against the eTruck Ready forecast.

Charging the near-series prototype of the eActros 600<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Daimler Truck AG

Comprehensive integral safety concept

With the eActros 600, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is also advancing its vision of accident-free driving. In some cases, at the same time the installed safety assistance systems go far beyond the legal requirements. This also applies to the General Safety Regulation adopted by the EU Commission. Since July 1, 2024, the regulation has prescribed additional systems as standard equipment for all new vehicles. The safety concept of the eActros 600 is based on further development of proven safety assistance systems. Daimler Truck at the same time has developed a new electronics platform that uses sensor fusion to merge radar and camera data and thus enable an even wider-area view to the front and sides. The electronics platform offers a 20 times higher data processing capacity, and the total of six installed sensors can now cover an angle of 270 degrees around the vehicle. Thanks to the significantly enlarged viewing angle, the installed assistance systems can make even better use of their strengths.

A good example of the effectiveness of the 270-degree fusion technology is Active Brake Assist 6. The latest emergency braking system from Daimler Truck is able to react even faster to critical situations thanks to the enhanced detection of the surroundings – for example, when approaching stationary or moving traffic. In addition, the system can detect unprotected road users such as pedestrians or cyclists in the vehicle lane – whether crossing or oncoming. Before a potential collision, ABA 6 can perform automated full-stop braking for pedestrians and cyclists at speeds of up to 60 km/h. A further benefit of ABA 6 is multi-lane monitoring at a distance of up to approx. 180 meters to the front for even better detection of dangers, for example, also in the curve situations typical for highways.

The second-generation Active Sideguard Assist (ASGA 2) shows the extent to which vehicle equipment with six sensors and the associated enlarged viewing angle can increase traffic safety in turning situations. The ASGA 2 now monitors the traffic on the driver's side as well as the front passenger's side when turning off. In addition, the system has an intelligent lane change warning concept, depending on its own position in the lane, and can support drivers on both sides when changing lanes.

Other systems likewise benefit from the 270-degree fusion technology, such as Active Drive Assist 3 for partially automated driving (SAE Level 2), Front Guard Assist for monitoring the traffic space right in front of the vehicle, and Traffic Sign Assist for real-time traffic sign recognition. In addition, the vehicle is equipped with an external Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) so that pedestrians or cyclists in particular can still notice the low-noise electric truck in their surroundings.

The eActros 600 Experience World with its unique design language<br>IMAGE SOURCE: Daimler Truck AG

Experience World – eTruck Charging Park – TruckCharge

The “eActros 600 Driving Experience” also includes a visit to the eActros 600 Experience World, which opened at the Wörth Customer Center in June 2024. In the very modern pavilion, Mercedes-Benz Trucks presents its battery-electric flagship for long-distance haulage in a wide range of media formats. For example, visitors can explore the various aspects of e-mobility and the eActros 600 on large touchscreens – with a focus on comfort & design, profitability, energy costs and services such as eConsulting. On the outside wall, a 23-meter-long LED wall shows several visually powerful films about the eActros 600. Ultimately, the highlight of the pavilion is the vehicle itself, presented in an open semicircle covering 120 square meters, with a 40-square-meter LED wall and a lighting installation.

Beyond this, the participants can take a look at several charging stations from different manufacturers in various configurations in the eTruck Charging Park opposite the Customer Center. Experts from Mercedes-Benz Trucks advise customers here on topics such as hardware, installation, solar systems or battery storage, as well as intelligent control of charging processes. Two Alpitronic “Hypercharger” charging stations are also installed in the eTruck Charging Park. The term “hypercharger” is the mark for the product line of modular and highly sophisticated DC rapid charging stations of the South Tyrol-based enterprise. Alpitronic is a strategic partner for the purchase of fast charging stations which have been offered recently by Mercedes-Benz Trucks as part of a comprehensive e-mobility solution.

Daimler Truck is bringing together all its existing and future offerings relating to e-infrastructure and charging electric trucks, such as consulting, hardware and digital services, under the new TruckCharge brand. The enterprise aims to offer customers a cost-effective overall package running from energy generation to vehicle operation, so that they can make full use of the potential of electrification. TruckCharge is aimed at truck fleet operators as well as industrial enterprises with their own or externally operated truck fleet. Since vehicles from different manufacturers are usually used, TruckCharge is available regardless of the truck brand. Daimler Truck will officially launch TruckCharge as part of the IAA Transportation in Hanover in September 2024.

Start of series production at end of 2024

With the series development of the eActros 600, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is on the home stretch. The “eActros 600 European Testing Tour 2024” is currently running through more than 20 European countries in order to gather the latest extensive experience on the most diverse routes in different topographies and climate zones, particularly with regard to energy consumption and public charging. Two near-series prototypes with a gross combination mass of 40 tons in each case are covering more than 13,000 kilometers. To date, there have already been more than 1,000 firm orders for the eActros 600, and the number of letters of intent is also in the four-digit range. The start of series production is planned for the end of 2024.

Source: Daimler Truck AG