Mercedes charges into the electric lorry market
Electric cars may be busy taking the world by storm but things move slower in the world of electric lorries. Mercedes-Benz is taking the first steps with their all-new, all-electric lorry set to launch later this year.
Other than the Tesla’s Semi, your average layman may not have heard of any kind of electric lorry and that’s largely because they don’t really exist on the same level as electric cars do.
As it stands, there has already been plenty of resistance towards electric cars with criticisms focussing on their heaviness, range and charging times. Now, if you multiply these issues from the size of a car, to the size of a lorry that also need to be capable of hauling heavy cargo, you can quickly imagine where the issues lie.
The issue of range will be especially relevant to electric lorries as some will require the ability to drive up and down the country, or even cross-country. Then, there’s the issue of battery weight where larger batteries will be needed in order to power a larger vehicle carrying heavy loads, and as the battery size increases, so does the weight of the vehicle and as weight increases, range decreases.
It all sounds like an impossible problem with no solution, yet Mercedes-Benz are making their move as one of the first manufacturers to offer a mass-produced all-electric lorry to the market.
The Mercedes-Benz eActros is due to roll off the production line in Autumn 2021 and will be capable of driving up to 400 km (approx. 250 miles) on a single charge, although that figure was determined with optimal conditions without a trailer.
Available as a two or three-axle truck with 19 or 27 tonnes permissible gross weight and a choice of 3 batteries or 4, with a charge capacity of 315 or 420 kWh respectively. Unlike the Tesla Semi, the Mercedes eActros is built upon an existing platform. The Actros lorry has been in production since 1996, going through three generations with the eActros using the frame from the non-electric Actros model.
Said to offer a high degree of driving comfort, low noise level and powerful acceleration, the eActros serves as an early example of mass-produced electric lorries. Although the range is not as large as diesel competitors, the lack of emissions will serve drivers well in areas with emission charges, such as the ultra-low emissions zone in London.
Let us know your thoughts on the eActros, in the comments below.
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Images courtesy of Daimler Truck AG
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