Photo: Mercedes-Benz Trucks press materials

eActros LongHaul prototypes undergo winter testing in Finland

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has been conducting winter tests of its battery-electric eActros LongHaul prototypes in Finland. The lorry manufacturer says that the trucks faced snowy and icy roadways, harsh winds, and temperatures down to minus 25 degrees.

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In the case of the eActros LongHaul and the eActros 300 Tractor, the manufacturer says its experts paid particular attention to the battery properties and the electric drivetrain on site in adverse weather conditions.

For this purpose, elements including starting properties and drive components’ protection from low temperatures, software and interfaces were tested. In addition, thermal and energy management systems were subjected to intensive testing.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks states that both of these things ensure that the drivetrain and the driver’s cab are temperature-controlled correctly and energy-efficiently, even at low temperatures.

According to Mercedes-Benz Trucks, this showed, for example, that the eActros LongHaul generally heats the cab faster than a diesel truck thanks to its smaller heating circuit with high output. However, since the energy for this is taken from the batteries installed in the vehicle and therefore the range is reduced, so-called pre-conditioning of the electric truck at a charging station is advisable. After pre-conditioning, the eActros LongHaul loses less range even in extremely low temperatures.

Commenting on the tests, Dr. Christof Weber, Head of Global Testing at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, said:

“Testing our product range under extreme winter conditions is also an essential part of our vehicle development in terms of alternative drives. Haulage companies must be able to rely on our electric trucks in a highly competitive environment at any time of year, just as they are used to from conventionally powered vehicles. For this reason, our test engineers in Finland put the vehicles through their paces for six weeks.”

Weber added:

“We are very satisfied with our test results. The tests of the batteries and electric drivetrain properties at extreme temperatures or of the vehicle’s driving properties on slick, icy roads show: Even in very wintry conditions, our battery-powered trucks are fully operational.”

The winter test also included numerous tests on driving and braking properties on surfaces with different levels of grip as well as the impact of slush, for example, on the effectiveness of the sensors of driver assistance systems.

Also tested was how the Trailer Stability Assistant can reduce the risk of tractor-trailers skidding during cornering or evasive maneuvers on winter roads and how the MirrorCam handles different contrast conditions on ice and snow.

The eActros 300 model variant as a tractor unit, introduced for the first time at IAA Transportation 2022 in Hanover,  is scheduled to begin production in the second half of 2023.