Mercedes-Benz launches series production of the eActros truck

Mercedes-Benz officially started (on October 7, 2021) the series production of its first battery-powered electric truck, the Mercedes-Benz eActros, designed for the distribution of heavy goods vehicles.

Production takes place at the Wörth plant in Germany, alongside the conventional versions. In fact, the initial part of production is similar on the same production line, but the final stages – related to high voltage components – are carried out in the brand new Future Truck Center.

“Before the eActros arrives at the Future Truck Center for its electrification, it will be flexibly manufactured on the existing assembly line alongside trucks with conventional drive systems. Basically, the assembly of different types of Vehicles will be integrated to the extent possible and the basic structure of the vehicle will be built on a single assembly line – whether a conventional combustion engine or an electric powertrain is installed.

The eActros then goes to the Future Truck Center, where the vehicle is electrified. Intensive preparations for the new production processes have been carried out there in recent months. This includes, among other things, the construction of a new assembly line. Step by step, the eActros will still be assembled here. In addition to high voltage batteries, other high voltage components are assembled at different stages of production, including the charging unit. It constitutes the interface through which the vehicle is connected to the charging station. Once all the components are assembled, the entire system is put into service at the Future Truck Center. The truck is then ready to roll. The vehicle is returned to the regular production process for finishing and final inspection. “

Mercedes-Benz eActros production begins on October 7, 2021

The Mercedes-Benz eActros was first presented in a concept version in 2016, and two years later, in 2018, the company began prototype testing, which continues until today.

The final production version was unveiled on June 30 and has been available to order since October 1. Initially, the truck will be available in certain European markets: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Other markets will follow.

In the second half of 2022, the company will also launch a municipal version of the vehicle – the Mercedes-Benz eEconic. A long-range (500 km / 311 mile) semi-trailer, the eActros LongHaul, will follow in 2024. Batteries for Mercedes-Benz trucks (and other brands of Daimler trucks) will be supplied by CATL.

Karin Rådström, Board Member of Daimler Truck AG, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, said:

“The start of series production of the eActros today is very solid proof that we take zero-emission transport seriously. The eActros, the first battery-electric production truck from Mercedes-Benz, and our associated services are a major step for us and our customers towards CO2 neutral road transport. And the vehicle also has a very special meaning for the Wörth plant and its long-term orientation: the future of Mercedes-Benz truck production begins today. We want to significantly expand the series production of our electric trucks here. “

The launch of the Mercedes-Benz eActros is also important for several other factories in Germany, which supply key components:

  • the battery packs are assembled at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim
  • electric axles are assembled at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Kassel
  • the associated transmission components are manufactured at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Gaggenau
Mercedes-Benz eActros battery production
Mercedes-Benz eActros powertrain production

The eActros can be fitted with three or four individual batteries (105 kWh each), for a total of 315 or 420 kWh. The 420 kWh battery is expected to provide a range of up to around 400 km (250 miles).

Battery packs at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim

“The competence center for emission-free mobility (KEM) in Mannheim assembles individual battery modules into complete packs, which they then submit to a functional test. A battery pack for a mass-produced eActros consists of six individual battery modules. The pack measures almost 2.20 meters long, 75cm wide and 55cm high. But before the modules are part of an operational pack, they are first installed in a metal enclosure and then connected to other components such as bus bars, control systems, and wires. They are then wired to the high voltage cable sets, after which layers of insulation meeting the highest safety standards are applied.As a final step, the electrical / electronic box (E / E box) is attached to the metal box. pre-assembled, which will later form the interface between the battery and the vehicle. The E / E box is also pre-assembled at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim. After a final functional and leakage test of the entire battery, the component is shipped to the Mercedes-Benz factory in Wörth. “

Mercedes-Benz eActros battery production

The electric axle incorporates two electric motors, which are coupled to a two-speed transmission. The maximum power is 400 kW.

The electric axle: a major role for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Kassel

“The Mercedes-Benz plant in Kassel assembles the complete electric axle, consisting of the axle bridge, electric motor and movable transmission elements. The central axle is first pre-assembled. This involves in particular the fixing of the wheel hubs and the brake discs to the axle bridge. The drive unit, including the two-speed transmission, is pre-assembled in parallel. The Mercedes-Benz factory in Gaggenau supplies the transmission components for this stage. After pre-assembly of the center axle, the entire drive unit, including the two-stage transmission, is “married” (attached) to the axle. Before the electric axle is prepared for shipment, it is subjected to a functional and high voltage test. These tests particularly examine the electrical safety and noise properties.

The electric axle is mounted on the same basis as its conventional counterpart. As a result, it is possible to integrate the manufacturing and assembly processes of the electric axle into existing production lines in parallel with conventional production runs. This makes the production process extremely flexible and profitable. During the integration of the electric axle, the focus was on the commissioning of machines suitable for the production of electric axles or newly purchased for them. This equipment includes machines for the pre-assembly of the drive unit, the final assembly of the electric axle and the whole test procedure. “

Mercedes-Benz eActros (2021)

Transmission-related components for the electric axle at the Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant

“The Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant uses state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques to produce mechanical components related to the transmission and associated housings. The main challenge here is that the transmission parts and the steel and aluminum case components need to be manufactured as precisely as possible. because they are specified with extremely tight tolerances. This is necessary to ensure proper functioning of the electric axle and optimum acoustic properties. The range of components produced at the Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant ranges from a tiny planetary gear with an outer diameter of 57mm to a drive wheel with an outer diameter of 365mm and gross component weight. over 40 kg. A total of ten transmission parts and three crankcase components are delivered to the Mercedes-Benz plant in Kassel, where the further assembly steps of the electric axle take place. “

Mercedes-Benz eActros Specifications:

  • Two battery / autonomy options (3x or 4x 105 kWh in total):
    315 kWh
    420 kWh for up to 400 km (250 miles) range
    “The range has been determined internally under optimal conditions, with in particular 4 battery packs after preconditioning in partially loaded distribution traffic without a trailer at an outside temperature of 20 ° C”
  • total vehicle weight up to 40 t
  • available at launch as a two- or three-axle vehicle
  • system power up to 400 kW (peak)
    e-axle with two integrated electric motors, which are coupled to a two-speed transmission
  • fast charging up to 160 kW continuous (more than 200 kW peak)
    315 kWh: 20 to 80% in just over 1 hour under optimal conditions
    420 kWh: info N / A
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