Mercedes-Benz started the mass production of the eActros, which it made its world launch at the end of June, at the newly opened “Truck Center of the Future” within the Wörth Factory.
The Truck Center of the Future, located in the production area of building number 75 of the Wörth Factory, has officially started its operations with the eActros coming off the line. In addition, the process of electrifying Mercedes-Benz trucks in the future will be carried out from this center. Mass production of the eEconic is planned to start in the second half of 2022, while battery-electric eActros tractors for long-haul transportation will be ready for mass production in 2024.
Speaking at the event, Daimler Truck AG Board Member for Mercedes-Benz Trucks Karin Rådström said, “The fact that we are going into mass production of eActros proves how serious we are about zero emission transportation. The eActros is Mercedes-Benz's first battery-electric series production truck. Going into mass production in this area is a huge step forward for us and our customers in terms of CO2-neutral road transport. We are actually starting the production of the Mercedes-Benz trucks of the future today.” said.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks Operations Manager Sven Gräble said: “The technological transformation experienced in the industry today to produce CO2-neutral trucks on a local scale means that we have to make serious changes in our locations and production. For us, opening the eActros production line is not a routine operation, it is really a new start. With the concept we call full flexibility, we have been able to integrate electric trucks into our existing production systems. In this way, our factory can respond effectively and quickly to the demand in the market; it also reliably meets Mercedes-Benz's stringent quality standards.”
Before being brought to the Truck Center of the Future for conversion, eActros are assembled with traditional trucks on an existing assembly line with flexible manufacturing logic. In essence, the assembly of the different vehicle types will be carried out as integratedly as possible. Whether an electric powertrain or a conventional internal combustion engine is used for the vehicle to be produced, the basic structure of the vehicle will be assembled on a single assembly line.
Coming off the assembly line, the eActros is taken to the Truck Center of the Future and electrified. In the past months, intensive preparations were made for new production processes at the Trucks of the Future Center. Among these preparations is the construction of a new assembly line. The remaining assembly of the eActros will be done step-by-step on this line. At various stages of production, high-voltage batteries and other high-voltage components are assembled here, including the charging unit. Once all components are assembled, the entire system is operationally tested at the Trucks of the Future Centre. After this point, the truck is ready to drive. The tool is reintroduced into traditional manufacturing processes for finishing and final control.
The process that started with eActros will continue with other models. In mid-July, the management and works council agreed on a future goal of the Wörth Factory that includes sustainable mass production of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Within the scope of this target, it is envisaged to develop and train the workforce in line with this transformation and to increase the digitalization in the facilities.
From concept car to series production: Mercedes-Benz eActros
Mercedes-Benz presented its concept vehicle in the category of heavy-duty trucks for urban transportation at the International Commercial Vehicles Fair held in Hanover in 2016. Since 2018, 10 prototypes of eActros have been subjected to practical tests in Germany and other European countries. The aim of the “eActros Innovation Fleet” was to learn about production ready eActros together with customers. Production model compared to prototypes; It has been significantly improved in some aspects such as range, driving performance and safety.
The technological hub of the eActros consists of a drive unit consisting of a two-stage gearbox and two integrated electric motors. These two engines provide tremendous driving comfort and high driving dynamics. Quiet and zero-emission electric vehicles are suitable for night deliveries as well as for urban traffic in cities where diesel vehicles are prohibited. Depending on the model, eActros have triple or quadruple battery packs and the range can be up to 400 km. eActros can be charged up to 160 kW. The triple batteries can be charged from 400 percent to 20 percent in less than an hour at a standard DC fast-charging station with a charging current of 80A. eActros are ideal for day-to-day distribution operations from a convenience and performance standpoint.
Mercedes-Benz created eActros with an inclusive system, including consultancy and service for customers, in order to support companies at every stage of the transport companies' transition to e-mobility. Thus, the brand will provide the best possible driving experience, as well as support in cost optimization and the creation of charging infrastructure.
Mercedes-Benz had shown that it ideally meets the level of safety possible on highways today, with Actros models and the measures taken by manufacturers to ensure accident-free driving. As for the security of eActros; Mercedes-Benz has not only focused on currently available safety systems, but has also worked on the challenges of safety systems for electric vehicles and high-voltage systems.
The serial production eActros is initially launched in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, while work continues for other markets.