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Mercedes-Benz eActros
Electric semitrailer tractor in the Alps: 40-tons eActros crosses the Arlberg Pass in Tyrol
Mercedes-Benz eActros 20th October 2022 Tags:

Stuttgart / Arlberg Pass, Austria – As part of a series of tests the eActros 300 as a tractor unit, which recently premiered at the IAA Transportation 2022 in Hanover, successfully crossed the Arlberg Pass in Austria. For this test engineers from Mercedes-Benz Trucks fully loaded the semitrailer to 40 tons. The tests in Tyrol covered a total distance of 111 kilometers, including Bludenz, Stuben, St. Anton and Lech, at times at an elevation of more than 1,800 meters. The experts from Mercedes-Benz Trucks subjected the tractor 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 tractor unit was able to recover a total of around 180 kWh of energy. At the end of the demanding tour, about 40 percent of the energy was still available.

Stina Fagerman, Head of Sales, Marketing and Services at Mercedes-Benz Trucks: “The tractor unit version of the eActros 300 expands the application options of the eActros for heavy-duty distribution transport. 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.”

In total, the electric semi-trailer climbed 2,300 meters in altitude during the test – the maximum grade was at 13 percent. On the way to the test area, the truck's batteries were only charged at public charging stations. Series production launch of the eActros 300 semitrailer tractor is planned for the second half of 2023.

Extensive testing of eActros for heavy distribution transport

In the past, the eActros for heavy-duty distribution transport, which has been rolling off the assembly line at the Wörth am Rhein plant since October 2021, has already been put through its paces. For example, near-series production e-trucks crossed the Alps in South Tyrol, climbing a total of 54,000 meters in elevation during the test. The vehicles reached the highest point during measured runs on the Kaunertal Glacier at 2,750 meters. In Granada, Spain, the eActros completed summer tests in very high temperatures of up to 45°C, while it proved itself in the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Finland, in snow and ice with frosty temperatures down to -25°C.

eActros 300 tractor unit for flexible use 

The eActros 300 tractor model can pull all standard European semi-trailers, taking into account the maximum permissible total length. The electric semitrailer tractor is based on the same technology as the eActros 300/400. Three battery packs, each with an installed battery capacity of 112 kWh[1], enable a range of up to 220 km[2] 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 330 kW and a peak output of 400 kW. The eActros 300 tractor can be charged with up to 160 kW: The three battery packs need a little more than an hour to be charged from 20 to 80 percent at a standard DC fast charging station with a charging current of 400 A[3].

[1] Nominal capacity of new battery, based on internally defined boundary conditions, may vary depending on use case and ambient conditions.

[2] The range was determined internally under optimal conditions, including 3 battery packs after preconditioning in partially loaded distribution traffic with a semi-trailer at 20°C outside temperature.

[3] Based on internally determined empirical values under optimal conditions, including an ambient temperature of 20°C.

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