E-Mobility Group of Daimler Trucks and Buses has launched a worldwide initiative to establish a charging infrastructure for battery electric trucks. Initial initiatives include setup of charging stations at the depots of truck customers. This initiative is going to bring together the e-truck customers, power grid operators, energy suppliers, charging hardware manufacturers and charging software providers. This could promote shared infrastructure solutions for truck customers within the network.
Currently, the focus of the Group is in the US and the Europe markets followed by Japan. The initiative called the ‘eTruck Charging Initiative’ is intended to speed up previously lengthy and complex planning and application processes for network connections. It is also concerned with aspects such as optimised load management of the electricity grid and sustainable electricity supply.
Charging the batteries of the eActros
Gesa Reimelt, Head of E-Mobility Group Daimler Trucks & Buses: “We are taking an active role in driving forward the change towards battery-electric road transport – also beyond our e-trucks and consulting services. To this end, we are now setting the course for the development of the necessary infrastructure together with all those involved. In the first step, we find out which power supply is available at a customer’s depot and which operating processes have an influence on power charging. With our newly launched ‘eTruck Charging Initiative,’ we are now translating these findings into suitable offers together. This includes, for example, supporting truck customers in the selection of the energy supplier and of the charging-station provider, as well as providing the appropriate charging software.”
This could lead to the development of standard concepts that cover common charging profiles. This would lead to fast processes and thus reduced costs. Other approaches, such as the best possible design of the interfaces between charging infrastructure, vehicle and grid, as well as the possibilities of controlling the grid load and thus ensuring the – as sustainable as possible – supply of electricity, are also addressed within the initiative.
Gesa Reimelt, Head of E-Mobility Group Daimler Trucks & Buses in front of an eActros
Explaining the cost benefits for logistics companies Reimelt explains, “From our point of view, depot charging at the truck customers’ depots represents the first and most important step towards entering the world of e-mobility. This means that the current fields of application for electric trucks in connection with urban distribution traffic can already be covered and the infrastructure can be ideally adapted to the logistics provider’s processes, resulting in the lowest possible charging costs. Depending on how the trucks are used, opportunity charging is also an option for extending their range, for example at the unloading or loading point where the electric trucks stop anyway. In the future, public charging at publicly accessible stations along central transport routes will also be an important aspect – a comprehensive charging infrastructure maximizes the operating range of battery-electric trucks.”
Among other things, depot charging is suitable for applications with electric trucks in urban areas, which travel on routes that can be planned and which can be charged overnight or during regular downtimes. In most cases, there is therefore little or no change to the operating procedure. Battery-electric drive has the highest efficiency among the alternative drive systems, which is particularly useful in this application scenario due to the lowest energy costs. The development of further charging possibilities through opportunity charging and public charging will successively open up further applications with a larger radius of action for logistics companies.
The Mercedes-Benz eActros heavy-duty truck, with a range of up to 200 km, is in intensive use by customers in Germany and Switzerland as part of the eActros 'innovation fleet'
E-Mobility Group is rolling out the free ‘eTruck Ready’ app, which uses existing driving routes to determine a realistic and meaningful usage profile of electric trucks for customers. The charging processes of electric fleet vehicles are another key factor that must be integrated into the operating process. For this reason, a further focus of the consulting is on the analysis of the depots and the corresponding conception of the suitable infrastructure including intelligent charging solutions.
E-Mobility Group bundles Daimler Trucks & Buses’ global know-how in the field of e-mobility and defines the strategy for electric components and products across brands and segments. E-Mobility Group offers comprehensive consulting for customers and focuses on the entire ecosystem with the goal to make e-mobility economically feasible also in terms of TCO.