First Mercedes-Benz eActros in Belgium: Van Mieghem Logistics tests battery-electric truck

The eActros: locally CO2-neutral alternative for urban distribution traffic

 

  • Van Mieghem Logistics uses 25-ton truck for distribution of, among others, pharmaceutical goods and food products.

  •  Swap body with electrical cooling unit enables emission-free temperature-controlled transport 

Mercedes-Benz Trucks continues with practical trials of the battery-powered Mercedes-Benz eActros. For the first time our company starts operating the all-electric eActros. Specialized in both international transport and national distribution services, we are testing the eActros on daily distribution journeys of up to 200 km in the vicinity of the company’s headquarters in Saintes, Belgium.

The Mercedes-Benz eActros will be initially used for delivering pharmaceutical goods to hospitals and nursing homes. Additional tasks are planned to follow soon. The 25-ton truck with a range of around 200 kilometres is equipped with a Schmitz Cargobull refrigerated swap body, which is also electrically operated and therefore emission-free. The batteries of the truck are charged overnight at the company’s warehouse.

Peter Brock, CEO at Mercedes-Benz Trucks Belgium and Luxembourg: “The eActros has seen intensive customer tests in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands since 2018. We are proud to now have the first all-electric eActros in Belgium to be tested with Van Mieghem Logistics, an esteemed logistics company in the country.”

Laurent Van Mieghem, member of the management at Van Mieghem Logistics: “The protection of natural resources is an integral element of our corporate activities. That’s why we already invested in solar panels on top of our new warehouse and are also investigating the installation of wind turbines on our company premises, which would be ideal for harvesting our own energy to power electric trucks and logistics warehouses in future. Our interest in CNG or LNG powered trucks has always been very moderate, as they still use fossil fuels. An all-electric truck however has always been on our minds and as a logistics company with a 90% Mercedes-Benz fleet, it was only obvious that we were very eager to participate in the Mercedes-Benz eActros tests. This is for our company the way to go to realize a CO2-neutral transport solution that meets our corporate values of sustainability and puts us in the driver seat when it comes to modern and environment-friendly technology.”

 

Swap body with electric cooling unit from Schmitz Cargobull

The swap body of the eActros is the W.KO COOL model from Schmitz Cargobull. It has optimized insulation for the energy-efficient transport of refrigerated goods. Its robust construction is ideal for intensive daily use. The purely electrically powered refrigeration unit operates completely emission-free and is specially designed for use in distribution transport. The vehicle bodies will be largely provided by Schmitz Cargobull also in the second test phase.

Boris Billich, Board Member Schmitz Cargobull: “Schmitz Cargobull is actively driving the development of more environmental-friendly and sustainable transport concepts. The emission-free refrigerated swap body W.KO COOL is successful proof of these efforts. We are glad and honoured that Van Mieghem Logistics is using it together with the eActros.”

 

The eActros: locally CO2-neutral alternative for urban distribution traffic

The eActros is based on the chassis of the Mercedes-Benz Actros. In addition, however, the vehicle’s architecture is completely geared to electric drive and has a high proportion of specific parts. Drive is provided by two electric motors close to the rear-axle wheel hubs with an output of 126 kW each and a maximum torque of 485 Nm each. This results in 11,000 Nm each after the transmission ratio, which is a performance equivalent to that of a conventional truck. Lithium-ion batteries with 240 kWh supply the energy for the eActros. Depending on the available charging power, the batteries can be fully charged within three hours (at 80 kW).

 

Numerous insights gained from the first phase

Since 2020, the eActros has been in the second phase of its practical testing as part of the so-called “innovation fleet”. One of the many findings gained during the practical tests is that the eActros’s range of about 200 kilometers has proven to be absolutely realistic – regardless of payload, route or topography. The eActros is in no way inferior to a conventional diesel truck in terms of availability and performance in urban traffic, on highways or overland routes. The cooling system for the cargo, but also the air conditioning – both electrically operated – have been functioning without any limitation in both extreme heat and winter conditions. Drivers are very pleased with the continuous availability of torque across the entire speed range. They also report in particular on the quiet driving style and a pleasant, smooth driving experience. In addition, when driving with foresight, electrical energy can be recovered through recuperation, i.e. motor braking. It is then rarely necessary to use the brake pedal.