Mercedes Trucks launches eActros 600 EV

Batteries could never power HGVs, right? Mercedes thinks different – the eActros 600 goes on sale later this year

By Matt Bird / Tuesday, 10 October 2023 / Loading comments

Every aspect of EVs that are criticised – poor cruising range, charging infrastructure, additional weight – would surely make their adoption to haulage vehicles difficult. Even with diesel having to be phased out eventually. Mercedes-Benz hasn’t been deterred, however, and has premiered the eActros 600, a truck with a 22-tonne payload that should be able to cover more than 620 miles in a day – using only battery power. 

Yep, the electric HGV is here already. And the numbers are staggering. To get a best case scenario (i.e. Mercedes lab tests) range of 500km, or more than 300 miles, the eActros is fitted with a 621kWh battery. It can charge at up to 400kW CCS, and will have the option of a pre-installation for Megawatt Charging; when that comes on stream, Mercedes says 20-80 per cent of that mammoth battery could take just half an hour. Power is rated at a constant 400kW, or a peak of 600kW, with two motors and an 800-volt electric axle. There are five different levels of brake recuperation, too – hopefully one severe enough for being carved up by a Micra on the A14…

This being a Mercedes Benz, too, the eActros 600 is crammed full of tech. It boasts Active Brake Assist 6 (ABA6), Frontguard Assist, Active Sideguard Assist 2 (ASGA 2) and Active Drive Assist 3 (ADA 3), but you can guaranteed that Micra will still spoil your day. A power inverter can take DC current and convert it into AC for refrigerated trailers. Multimedia Cockpit Interactive 2 keeps the driver up to date on the state of charge and whatnot, with Predictive Powertrain Control making most efficient use of the batteries, motors, and four-speed transmission.

As for battery life and technology, Mercedes says that the lithium iron phosphate design has been engineered to meet the same requirements on the durability of the vehicle and its components as a comparable conventional heavy-duty, long-haul Actros. It reckons that after 10 years and more than a million km of use, the state of health should still be over 80 per cent. During that time, the eActros should save around 40 per cent of the CO2 over a diesel powered equivalent – although that’s with the current mix of power production in Europe. If the energy is fully renewable, that figure grows to more than 80 per cent over a ‘product life cycle of 10 years from raw material extraction’. It’s anywhere between 370 to 775 tonnes of CO2 in that time, with the additional emissions form building the truck offset said to be offset within the first couple of year of long haulage use.

Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks, said: “The eActros 600 stands for the transformation of road freight transport towards CO2-neutrality like no other truck with a three-pointed star. It is characterised by highly innovative drive technology that can offer our customers particularly high energy efficiency and thus profitability. This makes entry into e-mobility even more attractive for fleet operators.”

Speaking of which, sales will kick off in 2023, with series production set for the end of 2024. A fleet of around 50 prototypes is under construction. Best not even ask about a price for the moment. But looks like future of HGV-ing could be coming to a motorway near you sooner than we think…

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