Mercedes-Benz Trucks, the European division of commercial vehicle maker Daimler Truck, has revealed its latest addition to its eActros family of electric semi-trailer trucks: the eActros 600. The new model, which premiered on Tuesday at the Break Autohof Hamburg Nordheide on the A7 in Egestorf, Germany, is designed to replace diesel-powered trucks in the long-haul segment with zero emissions and lower operating costs.
What makes the eActros 600 different?
The Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 is not just a conventional truck with an electric drivetrain. It is a completely new vehicle that has been developed from the ground up with electric mobility in mind. According to Daimler Truck, the eActros 600 offers several advantages over its diesel counterparts, such as:
- A range of up to 330 miles on a single charge, which can be extended to 660 miles with a mandatory driver break and fast charging. This is comparable to the range of current diesel trucks and enough to cover most long-distance routes in Europe.
- A battery capacity of 621 kWh is divided into three packs of 207 kWh each. The batteries use lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cells, which are more stable and durable than other types of lithium-ion cells. The batteries can be charged at rates of up to 400 kW using a CCS charger or even faster using a megawatt charger that can replenish 80% of the battery in about 30 minutes.
- A power output of 536 hp continuous and 804 hp peak, delivered by two electric motors mounted on a single axle. The motors are connected to a four-speed automatic transmission that has been specially developed for heavy long-distance transport. The transmission allows for optimal efficiency and performance at different speeds and loads.
- A payload of about 48,500 pounds using a standard trailer. The eActros 600 has a gross combination weight of up to 97,000 pounds, which is similar to diesel trucks in the same segment. The eActros 600 also features two power take-offs, one mechanical and one electric (AC or DC), that can supply power to auxiliary equipment such as refrigeration units or hydraulic pumps.
- A design that is both futuristic and functional. The eActros 600 has a distinctive look that sets it apart from other trucks on the road. It features a sleek cab with LED headlights and taillights, a large digital display behind the windshield, and an illuminated faux grille that shows the Mercedes-Benz star and the eActros logo. The cab also offers a spacious and comfortable interior for the driver, with ergonomic seats, a multifunction steering wheel, and a 12-inch touchscreen that controls various functions and settings.
How does the Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 compare to other electric trucks?
The Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 is not the only electric truck that aims to revolutionize the long-haul segment. Several competitors have also announced or launched their own versions of battery-electric or hydrogen-electric trucks, such as:
- Tesla Semi: The electric truck from Tesla has been delayed several times since its unveiling in 2017, but it is expected to enter production in 2024. Tesla claims that its Semi will have a range of up to 500 miles with a gross weight of 81,000 pounds and a charging time of 30 minutes for 80% of the battery using its Supercharger network. The Tesla Semi will also feature autonomous driving capabilities and a futuristic design with a central driving position and two large screens.
- Nikola Tre: The electric truck from Nikola is based on a partnership with Iveco, a European truck manufacturer. The Nikola Tre will use either batteries or hydrogen fuel cells as its energy source, depending on the market and customer preference. The battery version will have a range of up to 300 miles, while the hydrogen version will have a range of up to 500 miles. Both versions will have a power output of 644 hp and a gross weight of 82,000 pounds. The Nikola Tre will also feature advanced driver-assist systems and a modern design with a large touchscreen and digital mirrors.
- Volvo VNR Electric: The electric truck from Volvo has been available in North America since late 2020, and it is aimed at regional haul applications rather than long-haul ones. The Volvo VNR Electric has a range of up to 150 miles, depending on the configuration and driving conditions. It has a battery capacity of 264 kWh, which can be charged in about an hour using a 150 kW CCS charger. It has a power output of 455 hp and a gross weight of 66,000 pounds. The Volvo VNR Electric also features Volvo's safety and connectivity technologies and a familiar design with minor changes.
When will the eActros 600 be available?
The Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 is expected to start series production at the end of 2024, according to Daimler Truck. The company plans to sell the truck in Europe, where it will benefit from the stricter emission regulations and the growing demand for sustainable transport solutions. The price of the eActros 600 has not been disclosed yet, but it is likely to be higher than that of diesel trucks. However, Daimler Truck claims that the eActros 600 will offer lower total cost of ownership (TCO) over its lifetime thanks to lower energy and maintenance costs and higher resale value.
The eActros 600 is not the only electric truck that Daimler Truck is working on. The company is also testing an eActros prototype fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell stack in place of the batteries. The hydrogen-electric truck, which is expected to be launched in 2025, will have a range of up to 650 miles with a single fill of hydrogen. Daimler Truck believes that both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric trucks will play a role in the future of long-haul transport, depending on the customer's needs and preferences.
The Mercedes-Benz eActros 600 is part of Daimler Truck's ambition to become carbon-neutral by 2039. The company aims to offer only zero-emission vehicles in its main markets by 2030 and to achieve net-zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2050. With the eActros 600, Daimler Truck hopes to demonstrate that electric mobility is not only feasible but also desirable for long-haul trucking.