Mercedes-Benz Trucks went to Finland for winter testing of various models, including its battery-electric eActros LongHaul and eActros 300, under extreme conditions at temperatures down 13 degrees below zero (-25C).
The testing included prototypes of the battery-electric eActros LongHaul, expected to be in production in 2024, and the battery-electric eActros 300 as a tractor unit, as well as the conventionally powered Actros L with diesel engine.
Engineers paid particular attention to the battery properties and the electric drivetrain of the battery-electric models in adverse weather conditions. This included starting properties and drive component protection from low temperatures, as well as software and interfaces.
Thermal and energy management systems were subjected to intensive testing. Both ensure that both the drivetrain and the driver’s cab are temperature-controlled correctly and energy-efficiently, even at low temperatures.
One of the takeaways: The eActros LongHaul generally heats the cab faster than a diesel truck. But since the energy for this is taken from the batteries in the vehicle, range is reduced. So “pre-conditioning” of the electric truck at a charging station is advisable.
And it wasn’t just the cold-weather performance of the EVs that was evaluated.
On the trip to Finland, for example, engineers tested support when changing lanes as part of the Active Sideguard Assist or active lane guidance with Active Drive Assist in the Actros L. Since several national borders had to be crossed, it was also possible to measure the impact of country-specific lane markings, traffic signs or digital map data on the performance of the assistance systems installed in the trucks.
News Briefs from Around the World
Africa: Volvo Trucks delivered its first heavy electric truck to Morocco, a Volvo FE. The customer is the refuse collection company Arma, and this is the first heavy battery-electric truck from a global manufacturer to be in commercial operation in Africa.
Europe: In 2022 the market for heavy) electric trucks in Europe grew by 200% to 1,041 trucks, and Volvo Trucks holds the highest share of this market, with 32%.
China: Over the next three years, BYD plans to introduce new electric commercial-vehicle models in markets such as China, Europe and Japan, according to a Wall Street Journal exclusive. BYD says its “blade battery” can address issues of weight and range in commercial vehicles because they make maximum use of space and energy density. Because the company is Chinese, the geopolitical situation between China and the U.S. may make expansion here difficult.
Sweden/California: Officials with the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Gothenburg, Sweden, signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on key topics, including sustainability, digital and physical infrastructure, and potential trade opportunities. “Digitalization and decarbonization are some of the areas where our two ports are frontrunners in Europe and the Americas,” said Port of Gothenburg CEO Elvir Dzanic.
This news appeared in the April 2023 issue of Heavy Duty Trucking. Hotline Global is produced in partnership with UK-based Truck & Bus Builder. For a free trial subscription to T&BB.
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