The Mercedes-Benz eEconic has entered the next stage of development where the battery-electric commercial truck is set to go through an intensive trial period. This will mainly focus on evaluating the vehicle’s safety performance and durability, which includes testing the batteries and powertrain components during the summer and winter seasons. Mercedes-Benz Trucks is also subjecting the eEconic to additional evaluations including measuring noise, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and rough road test drives. Following this latest round, the eEconic will go into real-world operations to prove itself to customers before production starts in the second half of 2022 at Mercedes’ Wörth, Germany facility.
Like eActros, the Mercedes-Benz eEconic benefits from Daimler Trucks’ global platform strategy. It features the same low-floor design as its heavy-duty counterpart only this time it has been optimized for the eEconic’s main mission as a refuse collection vehicle. Mercedes-Benz Trucks aims to optimize the vehicle so that it can do its typical routes without needing to recharge on duty.
“We are subjecting the eEconic to an extremely wide range of test series, and the results to date have shown that we are on the right track with our concept,” said Dr. Ralf Forcher, Head of Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks. The eEconic is ideally suited for its designated role as a refuse collection vehicle. The high proportion of stop-and-go driving, reliably plannable daily routes averaging 100 km (62 miles) and the charging of the batteries at the customers’ depots add up to an ideal application for the mission profile of the battery-electric low-floor truck.”
The eEconic will be launched initially in a 27-ton gross weight rating and a 6×2 wheel configuration. It will feature two electric motors, three 105-kWh battery packs, and a two-speed transmission. The truck will be able to generate 330 kW or 442 hp continuously and peak at 400 kW or 536 hp. Regenerative braking will be key to the truck maintaining plenty of charge during its routes. When it’s time to plug in, the eEconic can DC charge at peak rates of 160 kW on chargers built in the customer’s base of operations. Like the standard Econic, the eEconic will get a low seating position and the “DirectVision” cab to maximize visibility. The cab itself features a low entry point and can accommodate up to four people.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks will assist its customers by offering the eEconic with a full ecosystem to support their operations. Like the one it offers with the eActros, Mercedes will offer services, advice, digital solutions to help increase utilization, and ownership optimization. In addition to installing chargers at their home bases, the eConsulting program also helps with planning, applying, and implementing the charging infrastructure and connecting with the electricity network. To achieve this, Mercedes-Benz has partnered with Siemens Smart Infrastructure, ENGIE, and EVBox Group. It will also help find public grants for infrastructure and vehicles.
The Mercedes-Benz eEconic is part of Daimler Truck’s plan to become carbon neutral in Europe, North America, and Japan by 2039. Starting in 2022, Daimler Truck will offer battery-electric models in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. From 2027, it will introduce hydrogen fuel cell trucks to help achieve the ultimate goal of becoming fully carbon neutral by 2050.