Tech Talk

Battery-electric prime mover makes light work of alpine test

alpine test

The new Mercedes-Benz eActros 300, which recently premiered at the IAA Transportation 2022 trade show in Hanover, has successfully crossed the Arlberg Pass in Austria loaded to 36.2 tonnes.

The tests in Tyrol covered a total distance of 111km, including Bludenz, Stuben, St. Anton and Lech, at times at an elevation of more than 1800m.

The experts from Mercedes-Benz Trucks subjected the battery-electric prime mover and trailer to tests to validate its performance and durability.

A special focus was put on energy recovery through recuperation, which can be used extensively in the alpine topography of Tyrol.

During recuperation, energy gained during braking is returned to the eActros’ batteries and is then made available to the drive unit. In this way, the electric prime mover was able to recover a total of around 180kWh of energy.

At the end of the demanding tour, about 40 per cent of the energy was still available.

In total, the electric semi-trailer climbed 2300m in altitude during the test – the maximum grade was at 13 per cent. On the way to the test area, the truck’s batteries were only charged at public charging stations.

“The intensive tests in Austria have shown our electric truck can reliably fulfill its tasks, even in a particularly challenging topography with extreme uphill and downhill grades,” said Stina Fagerman, head of sales, marketing and services at Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

The electric semi-trailer prime mover is based on the same technology as the eActros 300/400. Three battery packs, each with an installed battery capacity of 112kWh, enable a range of up to 220km on a single battery charge.

The technological heart of the electric truck is the drive unit, an electric rigid axle with two integrated electric motors and a two-speed gearbox.

The two liquid-cooled motors generate a continuous output of 330kW and a peak output of 400kW. The eActros 300 prime mover can be charged with up to 160kW.

The three battery packs need a little more than an hour to be charged from 20 to 80 per cent at a standard DC fast charging station with a charging current of 400A.

Series production launch of the eActros 300 semi-trailer prime mover is planned for the second half of 2023.

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