Mercedes has a goal in sight – which usually means the company will achieve it. They are in the final stages of testing their electric Econic for refuse applications and plan to have it in full series production sometime next year.
At the moment, the testing is being carried out by engineers with customer tests shortly afterwards. 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.
The low entry cab truck is based on the eActros which was revealed at the end of June. As a result, the central technical specifications of the eEconic are largely identical to those of the eActros. The eEconic, in its configuration as a refuse collection vehicle, will in 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 locally CO2-neutral and quiet.
Dr Ralf Forcher, Head of Mercedes Benz Special Trucks, says, “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. 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 km 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 6×2/ NLA. As is the case with the eActros, 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 at the customers’ depot.