Peak performers.
Transport Magazine

Peak performers.

We took two eActros to South Tyrol for trials.

Extreme gradients, large differences in temperature: two eActros underwent endurance tests in the Alps.

On the Brenner motorway, Christian Oesterle and his team experienced a mixture of amazement and pride. “Driving over the Alps with the first battery‑driven Mercedes‑Benz trucks – that was a truly amazing experience,” says Oesterle, who is responsible for thermo‑management software and functional development for the eActros at Daimler Trucks. For Oesterle the truck fan, the Brenner pass is above all a symbol of wanderlust, and for the engineer in him it is ideal terrain for testing the performance of the eActros.

There was a good reason why the trip from the Wörth factory went over the Alps. Two close‑to‑series versions of the battery‑driven truck were put through tough tests in the Bolzano region in South Tyrol.

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The team led by the 35‑year‑old trial engineer tested the two trucks for performance and durability – and all the time the eActros towed the maximum load so that the GVW totalled 27 tonnes.

“South Tyrol with its steep ascents and descents provides the optimum topography for our tests,” says Oesterle, who together with his colleagues was able to call on the full drive output of the two electric trucks. Downhill, the team tested the handling with maximum recuperation.

The region also provided ideal conditions for driving at very high temperatures – occasionally on city trips the thermometer went above 40 degrees Celsius.

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Christian Oesterle (centre) and his colleagues Andreas Münch (left) and Sascha Koch.

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Lars Hoffmann (left) and Florian Rosenstengel from the trial team enjoying a break.

“It was an incredible feeling driving the eActros over the Alps.”

Christian Oesterle, engineer for software and functional development, Daimler Truck AG
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In the course of the test period the two electric trucks covered a total of 54,000 metres of altitude. The trucks reached the highest point on the test drives at the Kaunertal glacier – 2,750 metres above sea level. “You can really say that the eActros coped with these conditions superbly,” says Oesterle happily.


metres above sea level at the Kaunertal glacier.

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“I have every faith in the eActros. It's our truck for a new era.”

Christian Oesterle

On the journey from Germany through Austria to Italy, the batteries of the two three‑axle trucks designed for heavy‑duty distribution haulage were charged exclusively at public charging stations. “In Austria and in South Tyrol too, we discovered a highly developed charging infrastructure,” says Oesterle. The charging breaks were also a good opportunity to get talking to other travellers with electric vehicles. Often, people were first astounded, then thrilled. “Most of them were surprised to encounter a truck at a charging station.”

On the homeward journey, the test team then produced a genuine masterpiece on the asphalt: “In less than ten hours from Bolzano to the Black Forest, that's a real haulage achievement.” That's not the only reason that Oesterle is convinced: “I have every faith in the eActros. It's our truck for a new era.”

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At the Mercedes‑Benz Wörth site, series production of the eActros – the first fully electric truck from Mercedes‑Benz – started in October this year.



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Photos: Daimler