Mercedes-Benz Trucks is pushing ahead with the development of the battery-electric eEconic for municipal operations in multiple intensive trial series. The test engineers’ focus is on trials of the vehicle’s safety, performance, and durability. The eEconic will also have to prove itself in tests of the batteries and the electric powertrain in summer and in winter. The vehicle is also being subjected to additional testing concepts such as noise measurements, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and test drives on the rough road.
Once the tests have been concluded, the eEconic will head for the next step — customer trials in real-life operation. The start of series production of the eEconic in Mercedes-Benz’ Wörth plant is scheduled for the second half of 2022.
The eEconic’s vehicle architecture benefits from Daimler Trucks’ global platform strategy. The low-floor truck is based on the eActros for heavy-duty distribution operations. The eEconic, in its configuration as a refuse collection vehicle, will in the future be able to cover the vast majority of the Econic’s typical refuse collection routes without needing to recharge en route, and will be carbon-neutral and quiet.
“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 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 kilometers, 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, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 27 tons, will initially be launched on the market in its configuration as a refuse collection vehicle with the wheel configuration 6x2/ NLA. The technological heart of the eEconic is the drive unit — an electric axle with two integrated electric motors and a two-speed transmission. The battery of the eEconic series-production model will be equipped with three battery packs, each with an energy capacity of around 105 kWh. Both liquid-cooled motors generate a continuous output of 330 kW as well as a top performance of 400 kW. In addition, when driving with foresight, electrical energy can be recovered through recuperation — a major advantage, especially in the stop-and-go operation of refuse collection. At the end of the daily routes, the batteries of the electric truck can be recharged with up to 160 kW.