BERLIN (Reuters) – Mercedes-Benz Trucks, the European division of commercial vehicle maker Daimler Truck, premiered its battery-electric long-haul truck eActros 600 on Tuesday, with series production planned for the end of 2024.
It will be produced on Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ existing assembly line in Woerth am Rhein, Germany, in parallel to diesel vehicles.
The company is currently building a fleet of around 50 prototype vehicles to be tested with customers, it said.
Daimler Truck is targeting 60% zero-emission sales by 2030, but less than 0.3% of sales in January to June this year fit that category, as a lack of charging infrastructure and the high price tag of electric models stymie sales.
The eActros 600 purchase price is 2.5 times its diesel equivalent.
Still, savings on electricity over fuel and benefits from government support mean its investment pays off after five years of driving, Daimler Trucks said, adding it could provide some financial support for smaller clients to aid the switch to electric.
The lithium iron phosphate battery’s capacity of over 600 kilowatt hours means drivers, for the most part, will not need to charge all day, as around 60% of long-distance journeys of Mercedes-Benz truck drivers in Europe are under 500 kilometres, the company said in a statement.
Batteries charged at 20% of capacity take 30 minutes to reach 80% charge, it added.
(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach, Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Miranda Murray)