Mercedes-Benz is subjecting its first long-haul battery electric trucks to extreme testing conditions in the Arctic Circle, searching for insights into their operational limits.
The German manufacturer has deployed two eActros trucks on a trial basis in Finland, where temperatures have been known to drop as low as -40°C and the environment is ideal for stress testing the vehicles’ thermal management, range, and charging systems.
The test trucks, which are equipped with two battery packs, are being used to transport cargo between two cities in the south of the country. Mercedes-Benz has not disclosed the exact route, but it is known that the eActros trucks are travelling more than 100 km on each journey.
The company is monitoring performance data during the trial, such as battery temperature, energy consumption, range, and charging times. The data will be used to develop a better understanding of the vehicles and how they are affected by the cold environment.
The eActros trucks are being charged using a mobile charging station, which is equipped with a pantograph for contactless charging. The charging station is able to provide up to 350 kW, allowing the vehicles to be charged quickly in the harsh winter conditions.
The trial is part of Mercedes-Benz’s effort to expand its electric truck portfolio and explore the potential of battery electric vehicles for long-distance transportation.
The results of the trial will be used to refine the design of the eActros and prepare the vehicles for full commercial production. Mercedes-Benz expects to launch the eActros trucks in Europe by 2021.