Icy testing schedule for Mercedes trucks

Santa might need to keep his head inside the shed for a little while as Mercedes-Benz rolls out its winter testing in Finland

Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz says this year’s Mercedes-Benz Truck winter tests in Rovaniemi, Finland once again proved to be important endurance tests.

This included vehicles from various model series – such as prototypes of the battery-electric eActros LongHaul, with series readiness planned for 2024, and the battery-electric eActros 300 as a tractor unit and the conventionally powered Actros L with diesel engine.

Under extreme climatic conditions, such as on snowy and icy roadways, harsh winds and temperatures down to minus 25 degrees, the development and test team tested the individual models in order to derive possible measures for further optimisation.

“Testing our product range under extreme winter conditions is also an essential part of our vehicle development in terms of alternative drives,” Mercedes-Benz Trucks head of global testing Dr Christof Weber says.

“Haulage companies must be able to rely on our electric trucks in a highly competitive environment at any time of year, just as they are used to from conventionally powered vehicles. For this reason, our test engineers in Finland put the vehicles through their paces for six weeks.”

 

Mercedes-Benz Truck development engineers took a close look at all the functions and systems of the vehicles in practical use on the trip to Finland.

Since several national borders had to be crossed, it was also possible to measure the impact of country-specific lane markings, traffic signs or digital map data on the performance of the assistance systems installed in the trucks. The fact that the trucks were tested all day long also allowed aspects such as the comfort of the driver’s seat to be evaluated.

In the case of the eActros LongHaul and the eActros 300 Tractor, experts paid particular attention to the battery properties and the electric drivetrain on site in adverse weather conditions.

For this purpose, elements including starting properties and drive components’ protection from low temperatures, software and interfaces were tested. In addition, thermal and energy management systems were subjected to intensive testing, ensuring that both the drivetrain and the driver’s cab are temperature-controlled correctly and energy-efficiently, even at low temperatures.

“We are very satisfied with our test results. The tests of the batteries and electric drivetrain properties at extreme temperatures or of the vehicle’s driving properties on slick, icy roads show that even in very wintry conditions, our battery-powered trucks are fully operational,” Weber says.

The eActros 300 model variant as a tractor unit, introduced for the first time at IAA Transportation 2022 in Hanover, can pull all common European semitrailers, taking into account the maximum permissible overall vehicle combination length.

The electric truck is based on the same technology as the eActros 300/400. Series production is scheduled to start in the second half of 2023.

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