Photo credits @ Mercedes-Benz Trucks

Mercedes-Benz Trucks breakthrough with megawatt charging for electric lorries

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has announced a breakthrough in fast-charging technology for electric lorries. The company successfully charged its eActros 600 long-haul prototype with a megawatt (1,000 kilowatts) of power, significantly reducing charging times and boosting viability for long-distance transport.

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The first successful charging test with one megawatt of power with our electric truck is an enormous development step, explains Peter Ziegler, Head of E-Charging Components, Mercedes-Benz Trucks. Ziegler emphasised that the industry typically refers to charging outputs of 700 kilowatts or more as MCS charging. However, Mercedes-Benz Trucks prioritises enabling their customers to charge the eActros 600 with a full 1,000 kilowatts for the shortest charging times and longest possible range.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks anticipates starting series production of the eActros 600 later this year, with the MCS (Megawatt Charging System) technology available for retrofitting existing vehicles.

Faster charging crucial for electric lorries

Higher charging power translates to faster charging times, a critical factor in the logistics industry and the electrification of long-distance road freight transport. According to Mercedes-Benz Trucks, the eActros 600’s batteries can be charged from 20 to 80 percent in about 30 minutes using the new system. Previously, maximum charging capacities reached 350 kilowatts with the CCS (Combined Charging System) fast charging system. The test was conducted at Mercedes-Benz Trucks’s development and testing center in Wörth am Rhein near Karlsruhe, as reported in a press release from April 22nd.

Milence expands charging hub network

Milence, a joint venture between Daimler Truck, the Traton Group, and the Volvo Group established in July 2022, aims to install the first MCS chargers by 2025. They plan to establish around 1,700 high-performance charging points throughout Europe by 2027, located on or near motorways and logistics hubs.

The first Milence hubs are already operational. The Netherlands saw the opening of the first charging hub near the German border in Venlo at the end of 2023. The second hub, situated near Paris in Heudebouville on the A13 motorway in France, followed suit. Both hubs boast powerful CCS chargers, each delivering up to 400 kW of charging power.

The hub exemplifies our roadmap for the future, explained Anja van Niersen, CEO of Milence. Over the past two years, we have prepared our organisation extensively, developed the right technology, and secured locations in 15 countries. We are now fully engaged in the rollout phase, and this is just the beginning. Further expansions in key locations along major transport routes will follow in the coming months.

Milence plans to swiftly transition both existing locations to MCS technology as soon as it becomes available. They have also announced their next charging hub in Scandinavia, situated near the E6 motorway in Varberg, Sweden. Like all Milence charging stations, this hub will be accessible to all trucks.

Milence offers a standard charging tariff of just under 40 cents/kWh excluding VAT and transaction costs. This rate will apply uniformly across all Milence hubs, regardless of the country.