A battery electric Mercedes-Benz eActros is in operation at logistics company Logistik Schmitt, located near Rastatt in southern Germany. Practical testing of the all-electric truck has been carried out in the region over the course of several years now and, as part of this, comparative drives with the eWayBW catenary project are also planned to take place in the Murg valley and surrounding areas.
The 25-tonne vehicle runs between the warehouse facility of Logistik Schmitt in Ötigheim and Rastatt’s Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant approximately seven kilometres away. Logistik Schmitt uses the eActros instead of a conventional diesel truck for the transportation of transmission housings. In doing so, the eActros with its range of up to 200km, works in a 3-shift operation.
“The Mercedes-Benz eActros is now integrated into daily operations by our test customers in Germany and Switzerland,” said Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Truck. “Here, the eActros has already covered tens of thousands of kilometres. Even fully-loaded and regardless of hot or cold temperatures, it successfully completes its daily duties.
“This spurs us on in our aim to enable locally emission-free distribution with heavy-duty, series-produced trucks from 2021onwards. We are pleased that, together with Logistik Schmitt, we are able to further expand the testing of the eActros. We will also take the findings of this testing phase and apply them as part of the comparative drives planned with the eWayBW catenary project. First positive feedback from Logistik Schmitt has left us very optimistic.”
The eWayBW Project
eWayBW is a pilot project for the research of hybrid trucks electrically driven with the help of overhead power lines. On the test route on the B462 between Kuppenheim and Gernsbach-Obertsrot three sections will be electrified with overhead power lines.
The specially equipped trucks can draw electric current from the overhead power lines. At the same time, a battery is charged which provides energy for further travel once the truck no longer has contact with the overhead power lines.
The operation of such hybrid catenary trucks will be examined during a three-year pilot phase. The project is accompanied by scientific research. Planning, approval and construction of the pilot route will cost 17.6 million euros ($48 million).
Practical Operations at Logistik Schmitt
“As a future-oriented logistics provider, we want to contribute towards enabling our sector to operate in an environmentally friendly way,” said Rainer Schmitt, Executive Partner of Logistik Schmitt. “With the Mercedes-Benz eActros, we can already drive both quietly and locally emission-free while remaining completely mobile. Practical testing has shown that the eActros is well suited for use in distribution operations like our own. It is reliable, always ready for duty and its range easily covers our required daily distances.”
Using the further-developed version of the eActros, Logistik Schmitt will also deliver axle components along the 14 kilometres from the warehouse in Ötigheim to the Mercedes-Benz plant in Gaggenau, mainly via the B462. This route is, for the most part, the same as that used for the catenary truck project. The specifications of the eActros will be comparable with those of the catenary truck. This parallel testing of the eActros and the catenary trucks will take place for around one year and will deliver the most important data and findings necessary for comparing both concepts and its use cases.
A conventional diesel Actros equipped to the Euro-6 emissions standard and fitted with measuring equipment will serve as a neutral starting point for the comparison of the concepts and will drive along the overhead-lines route. It will then be possible to compare the energy consumption of the electric trucks, battery-electric and catenary, with the consumption of the diesel truck.