Mercedes-Benz e Actros

German logistics service provider Pfenning Logistics is using an electric Mercedes-Benz eActros to supply the truck maker’s Mannheim plant with parts.

The battery-electric 25-tonne lorry is part of Mercedes-Benz’s Innovation Fleet and is being trialled by a range of customers before series production.

The truck will transport replacement parts and components from the Spreewaldallee warehouse in Vogelstand, on the city’s outskirts, 8km to the factory which produces engines and associated components for all of parent company Daimler’s commercial vehicle divisions.

The eActros will operate in two shifts and cover around 160km a day, the equivalent of ten round journeys. With a range of up to 200km, the truck will be able to manage the workload reliably, the company says. Batteries will be recharged in the evening at the warehouse.

As part of practical testing of the eActros Innovation Fleet, the 18- and 25-tonne trucks are being put through their paces in day-to-day operations by 20 customers from various sectors. An Innovation Fleet truck has been handed over to concrete producer TBS Transportbeton, for example.

Tests are made up of two phases, each with ten customers. Feedback will be used in further development of the eActros before series production.

“The aim is to make clean and quiet distribution in urban areas possible with heavy-duty trucks from 2021 onward,” said Mercedes-Benz.

Matthias Schadler, managing director of Pfenning Logistics, said the company is delighted to play an active role in “this important approach” to sustainable logistics. “With a range of 200km, the eActros perfectly matches the operational profile we need,” he added.

Mannheim plant’s involvement in the eActros Innovation Fleet comes after the company and works council agreed a joint package for the factory’s future development a few weeks ago.

In addition to expanding the core business, strands include promoting production of alternative drive technologies. Mannheim will assemble battery packs for the eActros when series production, planned for 2021, begins.

Thomas Grobel, Mannheim’s head of logistics planning, said: “Our plant is repositioning itself to ensure a sustainable and competitive future. This involves the logistics team also getting to grips with future-oriented technologies.

“We therefore welcome the fact that Pfenning is using the quiet and locally emission-free eActros to supply our plant and we’re already looking forward to seeing the results of the tests.”

The eActros is based on the well-established, conventional Actros, but with its architecture redesigned around an electric drive system and featuring a high percentage of vehicle-specific components. Lithium-ion batteries with 240 kWh capacity provide the eActros with the required energy.