Mercedes eEconic: testing underway, series production to follow in 2022

Mercedes eEconic: testing underway, series production to follow in 2022

Daimler is providing an update on the Mercedes-Benz eEconic: the e-truck for waste management is currently undergoing intensive testing, will enter practical trials with customers after completion of the tests, and will finally be built as a series vehicle at the Wörth plant from the second half of 2022.

Briefly, the eEconic was announced at the beginning of 2020 as a low-floor municipal vehicle for waste management. The 27-tonne truck is based on the eActros, the production version of which was unveiled a few weeks ago. The key technical specifications of both vehicles are identical: these include the E-axle with two integrated electric motors and two-speed transmission, battery packs of 105 kWh each (three are installed in the eEconic, the energy content adds up to 315 kWh) and the 330 kW continuous or 400 kW peak power as well as the DC charging power of 160 kW.

In stop-and-go operation during refuse collection, recuperation of electrical energy is also said to be particularly worthwhile. Mercedes-Benz assumes that the eEconic can cover the vast majority of "typical Econic refuse collection routes without intermediate charging". However, the accompanying press release gives no indication of the range in kilometres. For guidance: the eActros is said to be able to travel up to 400 kilometres.

The eEconic is currently being tested by the test engineers, who are focusing on tests relating to the vehicle's safety, performance and durability. According to Mercedes-Benz, the eEconic will also have to prove itself in tests of batteries and the electric drive train in summer and winter. In addition, the vehicle will be subjected to further test concepts such as noise measurement, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and test drives on bad roads.

"The results so far prove that we are on the right track with our concept: the eEconic is ideally suited to its planned application as a refuse collection vehicle," expresses Dr Ralf Forcher, Head of Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks. "The high proportion of stop-and-go traffic, easily plannable daily trips averaging 100 kilometres and the recharging of the batteries at the customers' depots provide an ideal framework for the application profile of the battery-electric low-floor truck."

By the way, Mercedes does mention a few changes to the eActros, but they do not affect the drive system. For example, the cab in the eEconic has been positioned lower than in the long-haul truck, and entry and exit have also been kept lower. There should be room for up to four people in the cab.