The battery-electric Mercedes-Benz eEconic was tested in freezing conditions just months before series production began. Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks development team tested the electric truck designed for municipal usage in Rovaniemi, Finland, in temperatures as low as -25°C.
Over three weeks, the electric truck model was required to demonstrate its viability on the test site and public roads. In addition, testing in Finland was conducted to determine how the batteries, electric drive train, and associated components perform in subzero conditions.
Additionally, the developers tested the vehicle's compatibility with charging stations, for which the truck batteries were charged at various charging stations. They do this through mobile chargers from multiple manufacturers and public charging stations, as Daimler Truck explains on request, adding: "The maximum charging capacity – 160 kW for the Mercedes-Benz eEconic – is dependent not only on the vehicle but also on the charging station's capability. Regardless of this, the charging capacity and the charging pace vary according to the battery's state of charge and temperature."
Engineers dispatched the Mercedes-Benz eEconic on simulated garbage collection routes to determine the vehicle's viability in a cold region. Daimler supports the approach by stating that the cars must operate reliably even in poor weather conditions and fulfill their orders.
As requested, the braking system and safety systems installed in the car, such as the anti-lock braking system, stability control, and anti-slip control, were also tested at Rovaniemi. Typically, this was accomplished on closed-off terrain via specially created tracks with varying grip surfaces.
Along with safety-critical components, the vehicle's thermal management was analyzed at very low temperatures. As a result, the developers have ensured that it satisfies all standards for power output, charging rates, and other parameters, even in adverse climatic conditions. According to Daimler, these tests, conducted in real-world settings and a cold chamber, are critical components of electric truck testing.
Daimler Truck is happy that the specific difficulties in Finland for the crew and vehicles were completed "without serious difficulties and within the specified timetable." "The Mercedes-Benz eEconic's use in Rovaniemi has demonstrated that it achieves our expectations dependably even in difficult climatic circumstances," says Bernd-Thomas Reinauer, Product Development at Mercedes-Benz.
However, the tests conducted in Finland are only a portion of a multi-year testing phase that spans Europe - from southern Spain to the Arctic Circle - "across tens of thousands of kilometers on the road and the test bench." The Mercedes-Benz eEconic's next phase will be client testing. Which consumers are involved remains unknown.
The Mercedes-Benz eEconic will enter series production in the second half of 2022 at the Wörth factory. According to the manufacturer, the model will initially be available exclusively as a garbage collecting truck equipped with the necessary construction. Daimler is being conservative with its range. In this sense, Daimler indicates that the vehicle can perform the majority of the functions of standard eEconic in the single-shift mode without requiring an intermediate recharge.
The Mercedes-Benz eEconic was launched in early 2020 as a low-floor municipal rubbish vehicle and has been under testing since summer 2021. The 27-ton electric truck is based on the Mercedes-Benz eActros; it utilizes eActros' drivetrain: three battery packs, each pack with an installed capacity of 112 kWh and a useable capacity of around 97 kWh, are placed in the Mercedes-Benz eEconic. The two liquid-cooled integrated electric motors generate 330 kW continuous power and 400 kW peak output. Electrical energy recovery should be particularly beneficial in stop-and-go operations, as is presently the case with the simulated garbage collection routes.
Even though the Mercedes-Benz eEconic is built on the eActros, the two models are distinct. According to July 2021 information, the eEconic's driver's cab is lower than that of the long-distance truck, and entry and egress are likewise lower. In addition, the driver's cab may seat up to four passengers.
Daimler Truck delivered the first series Mercedes eActros a few weeks ago - around five months after series manufacturing began in Wörth. DB Schenker, a logistics company, will employ the eActros 300 to deliver palletized items around the Leipzig area. DB Schenker tested the electric vehicle as part of Daimler Truck's innovation fleet during the prototype stage.
By 2039, Daimler Truck AG aspires to deliver only CO2-neutral vehicles in Europe, Japan, and North America. By 2022, Daimler Truck AG's vehicle portfolio in the key sales markets of Europe, the United States of America, and Japan should comprise production cars with battery-electric drives. Additionally, the business intends to expand its vehicle lineup by 2027 to include manufacturing vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The ultimate objective is to have CO2-neutral road travel by 2050.
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