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European truck makers are getting infrastructure ready for long-distance electric trucking.

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European truck makers are getting infrastructure ready for long-distance electric trucking.-Autoweek

Mercedes eActros LongHaul to Launch in 2024

European truck makers are getting infrastructure ready for long-distance electric trucking.

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  • Mercedes-Benz will begin testing 40-ton eActros LongHaul on public roads later this year, ahead of a planned production debut in 2024.
  • The eActros LongHaul will add to Mercedes' existing electric truck lineup, offering a range of around 310 miles on a full charge.
  • Mercedes, Volkswagen, and Volvo are working on creating charging infrastructure in Europe just for electric trucks.

Mercedes-Benz is pressing ahead with its electric truck lineup, with two- and three-axle trucks already on sale after the start of production last fall, offering competition to Volvo's deep lineup. The two truck makers have been industry leaders over the past year when it comes to the introduction of medium-duty trucks aimed at daily cargo distribution.

Now Mercedes is getting ready to electrify the long-haul segment, revealing this week that it intends to put the 40-ton eActros LongHaul into production in 2024, with a range of around 310 miles on a full charge. The truck maker indicated that the first prototypes are undergoing internal testing at the moment, ahead of trials on public roads later this year. As the other eActros trucks in the lineup, the LongHaul is expected to feature several battery packs with a capacity of 105 kWh each.

Of course, long-haul trucking in Europe and elsewhere will be dependent on the presence of charging infrastructure just for trucks of this type. That's why Mercedes, Volvo Trucks, and Volkswagen's Traton truck brand have banded together to create a joint venture just for truck EV infrastructure. The three truck makers will develop and operate a high-performance network just for battery-electric heavy-duty long-haul trucks and buses in Europe. The High-Performance Charging in Long-Haul Truck Transport (HoLa) network will be open to other brands and fleet operators as well.

As a first step, several prototype stations will be built.

"Two high-performance charging points with the Megawatt Charging System (MCS) are to be erected at each of four locations in Germany and tested in real-world applications," Mercedes notes.

eactros driving experience eactros driving experience

Production of several types of eActros trucks began in Europe last year.

Starting this month Mercedes plans to acquaint its customers with the eActros lineup near its Wörth truck production site in Germany, to get fleet customers ready for the next stage in trucking. The weeks-long event will see some 1000 visitors from the industry experience the eActros 300 trucks with realistic payloads on routes near the Wörth site, as well as become familiar with charging infrastructure.

"The tremendous interest in our eActros driving event in Wörth is further proof of the popularity e-mobility is already gaining with customers," said Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks. "Customers are thus sending a strong signal to all stakeholders to combine efforts and quickly put more and more electric trucks on the road, expand the charging infrastructure and create cost parity."

Of course, sales of electric trucks in Europe are one thing, and sales of electric trucks in North America are quite another, with the needed infrastructure posing its own set of problems for long-haul trucks. On this side of the Atlantic we expect to see electric trucks in the medium segment, aimed at travel between stores and warehouses on daily routes, achieve progress in the coming years before interstate trucking becomes a more feasible concept.

At the moment it's safe to say that smaller delivery trucks for logistics giants, aimed at last-mile delivery, will be the first major commercial truck segment to go electric.
I thought Mercedes spun off their Freighliner truck division. This is based in Portland OR. Perhaps they have truck production in Europe under a different name.I know Freighliner was struggling to develop an electric truck and it seemed like Mercedes was distancing themselves in case of failure.